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Resource Management
Water Demand
 Water Demand Management
 Availability of Water
 Water Use & Allocation
 Registration & Allocation
 Environmental Flows
 Climate Change & Impact
Conservation and Re-use
 Water Conservation
 Water Re-use
 Re-use Example
 Water Harvesting
Water Infrastructure
The Value of Water
Resource Monitoring
Research & Development



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Conservation and Water Re-use  

Water Conservation is the minimisation of water loss, the care and protection of water resources, and the efficient and effective use of water. The concept generally focuses on the efficiency of processes or actions associated with water resource use.

Water Re-use is a form of conservation, as the re-used water replaces fresh water provided by other sources. Virtually all the water coming from a household tap can be used at least twice. The water from one use, say bathing, may be suitable for further use, such as irrigation of gardens. Water re-use not only provides an alternative source of water, it also reduces wastewater treatment needs by minimising the waste water discharge. Additionally, water re-use by large consumers - for example agriculture - makes more fresh water resources available for other sectors. Properly implemented, water re-use has the potential to bring about significant environmental, economic and financial benefits.

Rainwater harvesting allows water to be collected so that it can be used later.
Source: Kruchem 2008
( click to enlarge )

Both, Angola and Namibia, have limited water resources in the Kunene River basin, and anticipate increasing demand as a result of climate change, population growth, and industrial development. It is thus important for all sectors to optimise the use of water to ensure that both basic human needs and environmental requirements are met, now and in future. Implementation of water conservation principles is essential.

The goals of water conservation and re-use include:

  • Sustainability - to ensure availability for future generations, through the sustainable use of water
  • Energy conservation - to minimise energy needs for water pumping, delivery, and wastewater treatment facilities
  • Habitat conservation - to minimise water use thus helping to preserve fresh water ecosystems, and reduce the need to build dams and other water diversion infrastructure

The SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses requires all basin states to adopt Integrated Water Resource Management Plans (IWRMP) to address efficient use of water resources and conservation. This is further discussed in the theme Governance.




Explore the sub-basins of the Kunene River

Video Interviews about the integrated and transboundary management of the Kunene River basin

View information on the dams and weirs of the Kunene Basin

Examine the virtual water trade and water footprints of SADC countries

Explore how hydroelectric dams work