Namibia: Dam Levels Show Slight Improvement

19 February 2020

The weekly dam level bulletin NamWater released on Monday shows that a number of dams across the country have recorded a slight increase in water levels over the last two weeks.

The improvement follows recent rains countrywide.

According to the bulletin, combined dam levels show only a slight improvement, despite rains in some parts of the country, from 20,1% last week to 20,9% on Monday.

The Hardap Dam, which supplies the southern town of Mariental and surrounding irrigation farmers, remains dangerously low at 6,8%, showing a slight drop compared with 6,9% a week ago.

Hardap's level at this time last year stood at 29,6%.

The bulk water supplier in November last year enforced water restrictions to the Hardap irrigation scheme farmers.

Hardap Farmers Association chairperson Dawid de Klerk yesterday confirmed that the water supply cuts to the farmers still apply.

According to him, this was the first time the dam level fell this low since it was built in 1963.

"The critically low dam levels have already sunk farmers' state of mind (morale) to the lowest," he remarked.

De Klerk said good rain prospects are expected in the dam's catchment area, adding that farmers continue looking up to the heavens for salvation.

"If enough rains do not fall within this week, we can expect catastrophic consequences for irrigation farmers, which could result in job losses," he noted, adding there is no plan B for farmers, apart from praying for rain.

The irrigation scheme, De Klerk revealed, employs about 1 000 permanent workers.

He said farmers had already suffered 40% losses in production since water supply restrictions were implemented.

The rains that fell in various catchment areas have pushed up the water levels of Friedenau Dam from 20,1% last week to 21,2% on Monday, while Oanob Dam's level on Monday improved to 47% compared to 36,8% last week.

The bulletin further shows Otjivero Dam also had water inflows, increasing its level from 7,9% last week to 8,6% on Monday.

The Omatako, Goregab Ojivero Silt, Tilda Viljoen, Daan Viljoen, Naute, Driehuk, Bondels Olushandja, Omaruru Delta and Omatjenne dams' water levels show a slight drop varying from 0,1 % to about 2% within a week.

Updated dam levels issued today (Wednesday) indicate that the water levels at both Von Bach and Swakoppoort dams changed significantly since the issuance of the dam bulletin on Monday.

The Von Bach Dam level increased from 38,8% of full capacity to 50,1% since Monday, while the Swakoppoort Dam increased from 4,8% to 5,6% during the same period.

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