We are running out of water

An expert believes that the installation of flow regulators in home taps can reduce water consumption by up to 50% and that you can recover your costs within months.

23 June 2019 | Disasters

Windhoek • Elvira Hattingh

The date for dams supplying Windhoek to run dry has now advanced with between two and three weeks. The reason for this is that Windhoekers have not achieved water saving targets that were already set at the beginning of the year.

In actual fact, in the week of 3 to 10 June, 5% more water was used than allowed in the municipal water management plan in a category D situation.

Dieter Tolke, a technical engineer for water in the municipality's in­frastructure, water and technical services division, said this information was released during a meeting with NamWater.

More than half of all water supplied to Windhoek is for household use, which means savings here can have a huge impact. Tolke says by installing water-saving equipment such as flow regulators in taps, will not only halve your water use, you can recover your costs in as little as three months.

He says that according to municipal building regulations, shower heads and taps (for sanitation purposes) may not allow more than 10 litres through per minute, while toilets should not discharge more than 6 litres per flush.

Tolke says at the moment there are even more efficient taps available than those prescribed in the regulations. Actually, you can buy shower heads that allow as little as 8 litres through per minute, while kitchen taps can regulate flow at 6 litres and bathroom taps at 4 litres per minute.

“For public toilets there are taps that only allow water spray – around 1.5 ­litres per minute. There are also ­public toilets available that flush a maximum of 4 litres at a time.” Tolke says record keeping of domestic water use is essential, especially since the municipality will not give any discount for water leaks as from 1 July. “Water management is currently a requirement. That means you should read your water meter daily or weekly to make sure you use acceptable ­levels.”

Many challenges

Tolke says there are challenges with the current water saving campaign. This includes a lack of political will from government and that many municipal officials for example, are no longer willing to cut off water of illegal consumers.

“The municipality already has a support programme for the largest water users, but technicians do not want to implement it without the approval of municipal management structures, the city council and politicians. We have seen in the past that if approval was not given, there is interference,” Tolke says.

The support programme is based on the existing water programme, which means that high water users are helped by first setting up a water quota for them. Thereafter an electronic water management system is installed, for which the consumer pays and which is programmed to supply water only at certain times of the day until necessary elements are put in place to make sure water quotas are met.

“At the same time, building regulations to ensure that only the most water-efficient equipment is used, have not been properly enforced so far. There is also a lack of public sector support, with several government institutions and buildings that remain the largest consumers. This includes schools like HTS and Augustinium, but also Government Office Park.

“Certain ministries are not doing their bit and problems with inefficient water use at these institutions continue unabated.”

Tolke says these issues need to be addressed for additional water savings­ to reach the 15% target. Another issue is government's tender process, as the municipality has been running without permanent contractors for more than a year. In the past these contractors helped with maintenance and repairs on water and sewerage infrastructure. “At the moment we have a backlog. This means municipal workers have a lot more work and cannot get to every­thing quickly, which causes further water losses. ”

Similar News


Another US$1 million for drought relief

2 weeks ago - 04 October 2019 | Disasters

The United States government has increased its food assistance to Namibia with an additional US$1 million (N$15 million) contribution to the United Nations World Food...

Thousands more in need drought relief

2 weeks ago - 02 October 2019 | Disasters

Since June this year, government has spent N$131 million on drought relief, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said earlier today.Speaking at a consultative meeting with regional...

Food for Epako elders

3 weeks ago - 01 October 2019 | Disasters

The High Commissioner of Botswana to Namibia, Claurinah Tshenolo Modise, donated food to the Epako old age home at Gobabis in reaction to the difficulty...

More money for drought relief

1 month - 19 September 2019 | Disasters

Contractors and consultants involved with various Roads Authority (RA) construction projects joined hands to donate a combined amount of N$345 000 in a bid to...

No set water targets for Gobabis

1 month - 16 September 2019 | Disasters

Gobabis • Elvira HattinghThere are no fixed water targets that residents of Gobabis are required to save at the moment, although underground sources are currently...

Current water use not sustainable

1 month - 16 September 2019 | Disasters

Windhoek • Elvira Hattingh If the worst possible rainy season lies ahead for Namibia and no water flows into the country’s central dams, Windhoek will...

Good possibility for rain

2 months ago - 18 August 2019 | Disasters

Swakopmund • Erwin LeuschnerFor many Namibians, especially farmers, there may be a small glimmer of hope. The strong El Niño phenomenon, which is one of...

Dams at shockingly low levels

2 months ago - 11 August 2019 | Disasters

Windhoek • Elvira Hattingh Residents of the capital are ­finally taking water savings a little more seriously and managed to save 4% last week.According to...

Dams at critical levels

3 months ago - 14 July 2019 | Disasters

Windhoek • Elvira Hattingh Dams in Namibia only have 26.7% or 186 820 Mm³ (million cubic meters) of water available, compared to the same time...

New water restrictions in full force

3 months ago - 30 June 2019 | Disasters

Windhoek • Elvira Hattingh Residents of Windhoek are reminded that starting tomorrow, 1 July, various water restrictions come into effect. This entails that lawns and...

Latest News

Stikwerk vir ’n groener omgewing

23rd of October 09:40 | Environment

In ’n poging om plastiekverbruik te verminder en hul inkomste te verhoog, is drie vroue besig om hul naaimasjiene daarvoor in te span.Julia Gomachas en...

No joking with The Joker

17 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

If you want to know what you get when you take a poor, mentally unstable loner and treat him liketrash, just go watch Joker.According to...

Stap vir Bybels die naweek

20 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Yolanda Nel Stof solank jou tekkies af wat stof vergaar in die hoek van die kas, want Saterdag 26 Oktober gaan dit handig te pas...

Okahandja hou somerfees

22 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Yolanda Nel Dit is nog net ’n paar dae voor die Gereformeerde Kerk op Okahandja se somerfees plaasvind en gaste het sommer baie om na...

Veilige sagteware- en regstelsels nodig...

1 day - 21 October 2019 | Technology

Met ’n algemene toename in die hoeveelheid kuberaanvalle op beide individue en organisasies, moet ons meer as net bewustheid skep; ons moet ook dringend daaraan...

SBN wins at finance awards

1 day - 21 October 2019 | Banking

Standard Bank scooped the top spot as Namibia’s Best Investment Bank in the EMEA Finance 2019 Awards.“Standard Bank Namibia (SBN) is delighted to have been...

Top estate agents awarded

1 day - 21 October 2019 | Banking

Bank Windhoek celebrated its top real estate agents for the central region at an awards ceremony, where the award for the Top Estate Agency in...

New Peace Corps volunteers sworn...

1 day - 21 October 2019 | Social Issues

Thirty new US Peace Corps volunteers joined local communities throughout Namibia to begin two-year assignments to strengthen education across the country. The volunteers will work...

Don’t miss these Kiddie Sport...

1 day - 21 October 2019 | Sports

The highlight of the Kiddie Sport program is undoubtedly the annual Kiddie Sport Demonstrations, taking place Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October at Wanderers’ indoor...

Load More