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Policies and Strategies  


Angola has seen major reforms of its water sector since mid-2002. In June 2002 a new Water Law (Law 6/02; Lei de Aguas no 6/02 of 21 June 2002) endorses the main principles on integrated water resource management (IWRM). To complement the Water Law, in November 2002 the National Directorate of Water and the Ministry of Energy and Water concluded a comprehensive Water and Sanitation Sector Development Strategy (Programa de Desenvolvimento do Sector das Águas), covering both national water resource management and the provision of potable water and sanitation to the people of Angola. This strategy was approved through Council of Ministers Resolution No. 10/2004. The strategy contains a number of guidelines, notably on the involvement of private investors in the sector, which will probably be reflected in the forthcoming Water Law regulations.

The endorsement of the Water Act was followed by drafting of the regulatory framework for the water law; preparation of master plans to address the physical and institutional issues in the major urban centres, decentralization of responsibility for service provision to Provincial Governments, and preparation and approval of legal instruments to convert the existing provincial water departments into water utilities (empresas públicas) governed by commercial principles. Government also has plans to establish a new Water Resource Management Institute so that this important natural resource can receive the professional attention that it deserves (Source: Angola Press Agency /, 06 July 2009). Plans are underway to legally establish this Institute by the end of 2010.

The Water Act (Law 6/02; Lei de Aguas no 6/02 of 21 June 2002) enacts the law on waters establishing the general principles of the legal system intrinsic to the use of water resources, extent of application, ownership of water, general principles of water resources management, inventory of resources, coordination and institutional organization, water conservation, and violations.

The Water Act defines the priorities for the use of water resources in Angola, particularly in relation to national surface and ground water. It gives the right to the Ministry of Water Affairs to ensure environmental protection and conservation of areas of partial protection. It provides a list of water management principles particularly the harmonisation of the water management policy with land use planning. It calls for the development of General Plans for the Development and Use of Water Resources in Basins.

Article 6 gives the right to the Ministry responsible for water affairs to ensure the preservation and conservation of areas of partial protection.

A number of principles of water resources management to be put into practice by the Government are described in this Act. These include among other the right for individuals and entities to access water; IWRM principles; institutional coordination and community participation; the harmonisation of the water management policy with land use planning and environmental policies and water as a renewable resource for people.

This Act encourages the development of a new administrative policy for the water sector including a decentralised system of control on the use of water as well as for the conservation of resources and the environment. In the implementation of this policy, the Government of Angola aims to:

  • Ensure access to water resources;
  • Ensure a sustainable balance between availability of and demand for water;
  • Promote research activities and sustainable use of existing water resources; and
  • Ensure proper sanitation systems and to regulate the discharge of domestic and industrial effluents.

Key Documents:

  • Water Act (Law 6/02; Lei de Aguas no 6/02 of 21 June 2002)
  • Water and Sanitation Sector Development Strategy (Programa de Desenvolvimento do Sector das Águas, approved 2004)


The independence of Namibia provided an opportunity to rewrite the Water Policy and the Water Act and Water Demand Management (WDM) has found its way into a Water Policy in August 2000 for the first time. This marks an important change that water planners no longer resort only to supply-oriented solutions, but accept new ways to reduce the actual demand for water in Namibia. Although included in the revised Draft Water Resource Management Bill there are no legal mechanisms yet in place to advance the cause of WDM within the water sector (IWRM Plan Joint Venture Namibia 2010).

Namibia has prepared a Water Management Strategy, and a new Water Resources Management Act was promulgated in 2004 but never commenced, and a revised new Act is on its way through the legislative channels to replace the Water Act (1956) as part of a review of water policy and strategy (Sandstrom and Singh 2000).

The provisions of the Water Act (Act No. 54 of 1956) are intended, amongst other things, to regulate the water use for irrigation purposes.

Of all the urban centres in Namibia, only Windhoek Municipality and Rehoboth have water demand management policies and strategies which were approved in 1994 and 2003 respectively. A wide range of WDM measures have been classified in Windhoek as issues involving policy, legislation, technical issues as well as public education and awareness (see box below). Windhoek has curbed the increase in demand, despite significant population growth and development.

The National Water Policy (adopted in 2000) paved the way for implementation of IWRM principles. The new Policy also supports the introduction of WDM measures in that (Schachtschneider 2001):

  • Government - as the sole owner of all water resources - will be the custodians of all water resources and - as owner of all the water - will have the right to control all water use and disposal;
  • Integrated supply and demand planning is required in both the short and long term;
  • The Policy promotes sustainable water utilisation through appropriate pricing, promotion of water efficient technology, public information and awareness programmes, information sharing and co-operation between parties, the promotion of wastewater reuse and active support of research and data gathering on water conservation;
  • Consideration is given to the establishment of an environmental reserve.
  • Catchment management is provided; and
  • The establishment of Namibian water quality standards will be very important for wastewater reuse.

The Water Resources Management Act of 2004 (Act No. 24 of 2004) calls specifically for the development of a National Water Master Plan (NWMP). Part IV of the Act asks that the NWMP is based on the water resources plans prepared by basin management committees which must include among others water demand management programmes.

Promulgation of Water Resources Management Act 2004.
Source: Government Gazette of the Republic of Namibia, No.284. 2004
( click to enlarge )

Examples of WDM Integration into Water Legislation and Policies in Namibia

Sector Example
IWRP Constitution that includes sustainable water use, & promotes a holistic
approach to WDM (both supply side development & demand side efficiency
Industry Water efficiency carried out in commercial buildings.
Municipal Water supply regulations refer to undue consumption.
Sewerage & drainage regulations cover pollution.
Widespread effluent re-use performed in the capital city.

Source: Herbertson and Tate, 2001

As the driest sub-Saharan African country, Namibia has considerable experience of WDM, particularly in Windhoek, where integrated Water Resources Management has been used to promote a holistic approach to both supply side development and demand side efficiency measures.
Treated effluent is used through a dual pipe system for municipal irrigation. Water reclamation for potable use was pioneered in 1968 and currently supplies 21 000 m³/day - 30 to 35 % of the daily potable supply. The success of integrated WDM measures resulted in zero overall growth in water consumption since 1997despite a significant population increase.

One example of WDM measures successfully implemented in Namibia is given in the box below.

Water Demand Management Measures Implemented in Windhoek, Namibia

The annual rainfall in the capital city, Windhoek, is 370 mm, while the potential surface evaporation rate is between 3 200 – 3 400 mm/a. The city’s water demand is met by the use of surface water and groundwater. The rainfall is uncertain and long spells of severe drought are often experienced. Water supply is therefore unpredictable. This situation forced the city council of Windhoek in 1994 to approve an integrated water demand management programme that included policy changes, legislation, education, technical and financial measures.

The major policy issues within the integrated water demand management programme are to maximise wastewater re-use and promote saving of water. In addition to wastewater reuse, the city has introduced special measures for water savings through municipal by-laws. During times of severe drought, these measures are rigorously enforced. Consumption-related, progressive water pricing also played an important role in achieving set water-saving targets.

Water savings achieved by households have, however, been counterbalanced by population growth. The population growth was mainly due to an above-average migration to the capital of approximately 5 % per year over the last 15 years, as a result of urbanisation. Per capita consumption has however been reduced to a minimum by technical improvements and public relation activities. Technical measures implemented are mainly focused on leakage control (lowering of “unaccounted-for-water”) and efficient watering of gardens. In order to reduce water losses both leakage detection and water audits are being done on a continuous basis. Additionally, repairs as well as systematic pipe replacement programmes have been implemented and proper management of water meters is carried out. Due to these measures, water losses in Windhoek are only 10%, which represents the lowest comparable value in southern Africa.

Source: Lahnsteiner and Lampert 2007

Further examples of water conservation and water re-use are presented in the Conservation and Re-use section.

Key Documents:




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