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Existing Monitoring  

Existing Monitoring in Angola

Surface Water Monitoring – Current and Historic Situation

87 % of the Kunene river basin is in Angolan territory. The implementation of effective transboundary IWRM in this basin will require access to robust and reliable rainfall, river discharge and river level data, for both Angolan and Namibian stakeholders.

Unfortunately, the Angolan provinces within the Kunene basin were amongst those most affected by the 27-year civil war, especially during the first years after South African forces entered from Namibia, resulting in early and widespread damage to water infrastructure, including monitoring stations, and damaging and preventing hydrometric data collection and management.

In 2002 around 200 hydrometric stations had been registered in Angola, the majority of which were non-operational. Research indicates that historic hydrological information of sufficient quality is available for Angola for the period 1955 to 1972. After 1972 little reliable data is available, and access to the data that exists is difficult (Petterson 2004).

Members of an NGO supporting the collection of monitoring data on rural water use.
Source: Tump 2008
( click to enlarge )

Even during the war, it is likely that some basic discharge and river level data was collected at the sites of the four existing impoundments on the Kunene River (at Gove, Matala, Calueque and Ruacana) particularly as the functions of these dams include critical services such as electricity production, water flow regulation and transfer.

The rehabilitation of the network of hydrometric stations has been prioritised under separate projects. One such is the NAWASMA (National Water Sector Management) project funded by NORAD, which started in 2002 and centres around institutional cooperation between the Angolan National Water Directorate (DNA) and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). The World Bank also funds a Water Sector Institutional Development Project, with an implementation period from 2008 to 2016. One of the objectives of the project is the rehabilitation of 80 % of the country’s hydrometric stations (Petterson 2004).

Groundwater Monitoring

Information on groundwater is equally sparse in Angola, and the Kunene basin is no exception. Boreholes and wells have been installed at numerous locations in the Kunene basin, and the improvement of access to water and sanitation at a community level has been a central component of development interventions over the entire country. However there is little if any systematic data on the status of boreholes and wells, and even less on groundwater levels at these sites.

Water Quality Monitoring

With respect to water quality monitoring, there situation for both surface water and groundwater is similar. Water quality monitoring in the recent past is mostly limited to ad hoc monitoring of microbiological water quality in the context of humanitarian and development interventions. This is not likely to be meaningful in the context of developing an IWRM approach.

Monitoring for Flood and Drought Preparedness

The need for a robust and reliable hydrometric monitoring network does not relate only to IWRM. Southern Angola and Northern Namibia have been affected by extremes of weather in recent years, including dangerous flooding and prolonged droughts. These have affected many tens of thousands of people. A rehabilitated monitoring network will be an essential step towards the development of early warning systems to allow a timely response to weather extremes, which are increasingly expected as a result of climate change.

Distribution of surface water and climate monitoring stations.
Source: AHT GROUP AG 2010
( click to enlarge )

Existing Monitoring in Namibia

Surface Water Monitoring – Current and Historic Situation

The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) is the Namibian institution responsible for setting up monitoring systems, coordination of monitoring activities and data analysis. Other organisations, such as NamWater and NamPower, also collect hydrological data at sites where they have water infrastructure. This includes water quality and pollution control in all river basins of the country. Namibia started its basic monitoring systems in the 1940s. These were much expanded during the two decades since independence. Today Namibia is one of the countries in SADC that has a wide range of monitoring data available.

The Hydrology Division in the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) continuously monitors the stream flow on the major rivers in Namibia, including those within the Kunene River basin. At this stage, river water level stations are in operation at Ruacana and Epupa on the Kunene River. NamPower also monitors the flow at Ruacana as a combination of the flow through the turbines and the overflow over the diversion weir (with occasional releases through the dam outlets). The monitoring system has major gaps further downstream, with a closed station at Marienfluss and no station at the River Mouth. The Hydrology Division also operates river gauging stations (Ombuku, Minimahoro) on the ephemeral tributaries of the Lower Kunene River.

The Namibia Meteorological Services (NMS) in the Ministry of Works and Transport (MWT) is responsible for monitoring, analysing and reporting meteorological data on rainfall, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure and wind. In 2003 NMS’s comprehensive rainfall data set held about 150 000 daily records from about 120 stations (Meteona website 2010).

Namibian Students Participate in World Water Monitoring Day

Namibians participated in World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) for the first time in 2007. Fifty students, between the ages of 11 and 13, from Deutsche Höhere Private School in Windhoek went out to discover Avis Dam east of the city. Dams filled with rainwater from last rainy season are the only surface water bodies that can be visited in the months of September and October, which represent the end of the dry season.

At Avis Dam these fifth-grade students accompanied by two teachers and a geologist of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry tested five basic indicators of water quality. They used the WWMD test kits to look at dissolved oxygen, acidity (pH), temperature and turbidity.

Groundwater monitoring in Namibia.
Source: Harald Zauter, 2005
( click to enlarge )

Groundwater Monitoring

In Namibia there are 912 groundwater wells, of which 112 are monitored using autographic recorders and 800 measured by hand under the National Groundwater Monitoring Programme. There is little or no groundwater quality monitoring. The Geohydrology Division in the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and NamWater are responsible for monitoring. Borehole loggers and recorders operate at selected groundwater-dependant towns and villages, and water levels are monitored regularly throughout the country (SADC 2009).

Monitoring for Flood and Drought Preparedness

The need for a robust and reliable hydrometric monitoring network for flood and drought preparedness has been recognized by the Namibian authorities. Severe droughts and floods in the Namibian and Angolan parts of Kunene and Cuvelai basins in recent years led to the installation of early warning systems. These include ground stations for rainfall and river flow with telemetric transmission of data and remote sensing observation systems from satellites. To allow timely response to floods, however, Namibia would also depend on regular rainfall and flow data from the Upper Kunene that is not yet available.




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