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Resource Management
Water Demand
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Water Conservation
 Water Re-use
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Water Conservation  

As the irrigated agriculture sector is the largest user of water in Angola and Namibia, water conservation and re-use strategies should focus on this use sector to obtain maximum savings. Significant savings can be obtained by reducing conveyance losses in canals, scheduling irrigation appropriately, metering and pricing irrigation water, and improving efficiencies in irrigation systems.

In order for water conservation strategies to be effective, significant awareness raising is required in the form of campaigns through workshops, discussion forums, and newsletters to integrate the principles of water conservation into people's daily lives.

Water Conservation Tips: Easy Things you Can do at Home to Conserve Water

  • Fix leaking pipes or dripping taps;
  • When rinsing vegetables fill a bowl or the sink with some water instead of letting the tap run;
  • Take shorter showers;
  • Fill a bottle and put it in the fridge for drinking instead of running the tap until cold water comes out;
  • Water lawns early in the morning to allow the water to percolate into the soil and not evaporate in the heat of the sun;
  • Allow lawns to grow longer in dry weather so that the grass retains the moisture and does not require such frequent watering;
  • Use a drip irrigation system instead of a sprinkler;
  • Cover swimming pools when not in use;
  • Use swimming pool water from the back-washing or draining to water lawns and plants; and
  • Collect rainwater to irrigate plants.
Water conservation: Fix dripping taps.
Source: Werner 2009
( click to enlarge )


The Water Resources Management Act (2004) of Namibia prescribes fundamental reforms with respect to the sustainability of water use, conservation and efficient water management practices (Part XIII). For the development of efficient water management practices the Ministry consult public and private institutions dealing with environment and water, and water users concerned, and may consider amongst other measures the efficiency in improved water technology, particularly improvements in irrigation technology.

A water user who has conserved irrigation water by successfully applying efficient water management practices may transfer such water, except groundwater, to another person on the approval of the Ministry made upon application.

Namibia has developed partial water accounts, and there is a drive to incorporate wastewater into these accounts as a method of water re-use and conservation (Arntzen and Setlhogile 2007). Treated wastewater could partially replace new withdrawals of fresh surface and ground water.

Windhoek's Approach to Water Conservation

Windhoek’s water is supplied by NamWater who operate on a full cost recovery basis. Therefore there are financial incentives to use water efficiently.

Water demand management strategies have been implemented since 1992 with various policies and programmes having been implemented. These include:

  • Public education campaign;
  • Learner and student water management education;
  • Permanent rising block tariff system;
  • Wet industries are supplied with guidelines to promote water efficiency;
  • Consumer advisory service;
  • Advice provided on water efficient gardening techniques;
  • Leak detection and repair programmes;
  • Systematic pipe replacement programme;
  • Ongoing water audits conducted.

The following water efficient devices are regulatory requirements:

  • Metering taps must be used in hostels;
  • Taps outside non-residential buildings must be self-closing or lockable.
  • Automated flushing devices are prohibited;
  • Urinals may use no more than 2 litres per flush;
  • Shower heads restricted to a maximum flow rate of 10 litres per minute;
  • Taps in public areas are to be fitted with a meter to ensure no more than 1 litre of water is discharged in each usage;
  • Showers in public spaces are to be fitted with a metering valve that limits each usage to 2.5 litres; and
  • Toilet cisterns must be 6/3 litre dual flush units.

Source: Water Use Efficiency South Africa 2010

Windhoek's strategy comprises various policies and a number of policies and regulations to be implemented. The table below lists some of the conservation policies and implementation results.

Water Conservation Policies and Implementation Results in Windhoek

Policy Implementation result
Block tariff A permanent block tariff system, to reflect the real cost of water and to curb excessive water use, was implemented. This has proved successful in changing water use habits.
Maximum reuse of water Semi-purified effluent per annum for irrigation has replaced potable water previously used for irrigation in Windhoek. Potable water can be reclaimed at the Goreangab Water Reclamation Plant. Grey water recycling occurs on private premises in Windhoek.
Higher densities in all existing developed areas Residential plot sizes in new development in Windhoek are reduced and higher densities are allowed in existing urban areas.
Reduction of Municipal water use Consumption of water on municipal gardens has been reduced by up to 50%.

Source: Adapted from Water Use Efficiency South Africa 2010




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