Save water – or else, City of Windhoek warns

In the midst of a ravaging drought, City Council has announced an increase in water tariffs in the hopes of curbing waste.

07 July 2019 | Government

An increase of 5% on the majority of water tariffs along with a drought tariff structure came into effect on 1 July after approval by the City of Windhoek (CoW) last week. This is in line with the category D severe scarcity water restrictions that the city currently faces.

According to agenda notes following June's council meeting, the water tariff adjustment was approved for implementation effective as from 1 July and that the new drought tariff structure is in line with efforts to control the use of water.

At the last council meeting, Windhoek's deputy mayor, Loide Kaiyamo, raised the concern that not all residents are taking the crisis seriously. “I would like to remind Windhoekers about the seriousness of the severe water scarcity facing our city. Although we have been on record on many occasions cautioning residents about the critical shortage and the importance of using water sparingly, the response has not been satisfactory,” she said.

The CoW has failed to reach the 15% water saving target it set for itself.

Windhoek relies heavily on surface water supplied by NamWater, however the water carrier said it is currently not in the position to meet Windhoek's water demands as it can only supply around 163 000 m³ while the demand is around 539 000 m³ per week.

Savings measures

The council agenda notes that the drought tariff structure categories are aimed at achieving the required water saving targets for the various severity conditions.

The current water saving targets are 15% as per the category D severe water scarcity category.

Our sister publication Namibian Sun reported earlier this week that while the tariffs remain the same for all categories, the limits where penalties are introduced are lowered in each new category.

Although the tariffs are not yet gazetted, the 5% increases are likely to result in residents paying N$34.64 per 1 000 litres if their consumption is between 6 000 and 25 000 litres per household per month, while households that use between 25 000 and 30 000 litres per month, will pay N$69.29 per 1 000 litres, which is a proposed 14% increase in the penalty fee for overconsumption compared to the 2018/19 tariffs in category D water tariffs.

Consumers who use more than 30 000 litres a month will be penalised with a tariff of N$138.57, which translates to a proposed 2% decrease in category D from the previous over 30 000 litre penalty tariff, that was N$141.00 per 1 000 litres.

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