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Resource Management
Water Demand
 Water Demand Management
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Agreements, Abstraction Permits & Licenses
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Agreements, Abstraction Permits and Licenses  


The Constitution of Angola stipulates that the state has the property rights for water. Article 13 of the Law of Delimitation of the Sectors of Economic Activity specifies that the “collection, treatment and distribution of drinking water through fixed networks” and the provision of “basic sanitation” are areas of “relative reserve”. This implies that companies or other forms of private entities can participate in these sectors through fixed term concession contracts.

The Water Law (2002) makes provision for a private sector entity to be granted a water right, and then to apply for a licence or a concession to use water. The most common situation is likely to be a licence, which is to be granted for a renewable period of 15 years, whereas a concession is more significant in several respects, including being granted for up to 50 years.

Among others the new Water Law specifies the duties and rights of licences and concessions and the circumstances in which they can be terminated. One of the main duties is to pay the levies which are to be raised in terms of the law to cover the costs of water resource management.


In Namibia, applications for Water Abstraction Permits are made to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF). Currently water allocations exist for urban, mining and irrigation applications. For urban and mining applications, the volumes are based on the predicted water demands of each development and the permits are issued accordingly. The permit allocations for irrigation are based on the area to be irrigated as well as on the water available and considerations for sharing with other users.

The permits issued to applicants specify the different types of monitoring data that must be collected, as well as the frequency at which it must be collected and submitted to the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF). The norm is that data must be collected monthly and submitted to DWA quarterly. It is also a standard condition that every borehole used for irrigation water abstraction must be equipped with a flow meter to measure the volumes abstracted.

The riparian countr(y)ies sharing the surface water resources with Namibia on the

  • Kunene River and the Cuvelai River is Angola;
  • Okavango River are Angola and Botswana;
  • Zambezi River are Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and
  • Orange River are Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa.

Thus access to an equitable and reasonable share of the water is subject to negotiations and agreement between the riparian States. Namibia has an agreement with Angola to abstract 180 million m³ per year from the Kunene River. Actual abstraction for 2000 was 23 million m³ (SADC 2003). The current situation on transboundary water resources issues is summarised in the table below.

Transboundary Surface Water Sources in Namibia


Mean Annual Runoff (Mm³/yr)

Gauging Station

Riparian States

Agreed Abstraction (Mm3/yr)


5 500








No agreement


10 000



No agreement


11 000





40 000

Katima Mulilo


No agreement

Source: Aquastat 2010, SADC 2003




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