10 January 2019

Namibia: Water Rationing for Gobabis As Dams Go Empty

RESIDENTS of Gobabis will have to prepare themselves for night-time water rationing, due to the low levels of the dams supplying water to the Omaheke region town.

The Namibia Water Corporation has informed the Gobabis municipality that NamWater will start rationing water to the town from tomorrow, with no water to be supplied to Gobabis residents each night from 22h00 to 05h00.

The rationing is at this stage planned to last to the end of February. It is being implemented because the contents of the dams supplying water to Gobabis have fallen to such low levels that no water can be sourced from the dams anymore, and boreholes would have to be tapped to provide water to the town, NamWater spokesperson Johannes Shigwedha told The Namibian yesterday.

According to NamWater's latest weekly update on the state of Namibia's main surface water reservoirs, the dams supplying water to Gobabis were only 5,4% full on Monday, holding about 620 000 cubic metres of water. The dams - the Otjivero Main, Otjivero Silt, Tilda Viljoen and Daan Viljoen dams - have a combined capacity to store 11,4 million cubic metres of water when full.

The four dams held 1,89 million cubic metres of water - 9,8% of their combined storage capacity - a year ago.

Nearly all of the other dams monitored by NamWater are also emptier now than at the same time a year ago.

The dams supplying Windhoek with water held a combined total of 39,8 million cubic metres of water on Monday, after two of the dams, Von Bach and Omatako, received inflows of about 5,4 million cubic metres during the previous week. The combined level of the Swakoppoort, Von Bach and Omatako dams stood at 25,8% of their full capacity on Monday, compared to a combined level of 35% (54 million cubic metres) a year ago.

Meanwhile water supply was restored at Ariamsvlei in the //Karas region following shortages experienced in some parts of the settlement around Christmas due to a pipe leakage.

Shigwedha confirmed yesterday that the water supply had been restored.

"As from last week Friday - since the settlement repaired the pipe - the situation normalised," he stated.

The water shortages had mostly affected the settlement's Vergenoeg location.

The bulk water supplier's spokesperson said it took around 10 days to have the pipe leakage repaired as officials struggled with spares.

"During this time, we supplied what we could. But we could not keep up as the borehole yields are also limited. Capital projects to add boreholes are in progress at the moment," he added.

Shigwedha said although the settlement is supplied from the NamWater reservoir, the Vergenoeg location has its independent pump station, which is operated by the settlement office.

"For this reason, we closed town supply from time to time to ensure enough water in the NamWater reservoir so that the settlement office could operate the pump station," he added.

Dam levels on Monday reported by NamWater, with the dams' readings at the corresponding time a year ago in brackets, are:

Swakoppoort 22,9% (40,5%)

Von Bach 52% (59,6%)

Omatako 1,4% (0,2%)

Hardap 34,2% (44,2%)

Naute 65,5% (72,3%)

Oanob 58% (72,3%)

Otjivero Main 5% (12,5%)

Otjivero Silt 0% (0%)

Tilda Viljoen 5,8% (44,4%)

Daan Viljoen 10,8% (29%)

Olushandja 27% (18,3%)

Friedenau 32,4% (28,2%)

Goreangab 94,6% (98,2%)

Dreihuk 2,9% (10,4%)

Bondels 0% (0%)

Omdel 0% (0%).

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