Over the years, the City of Windhoek has been calling on residents to reduce their water usage to ease pressure on the city’s low surface water reserves, and although the recent rainfall patterns have been favourable, the water shortage crisis is not yet over.
Speaking to Grade 12 learners from Dawid Bezuidenhout High School, Mwendalubi Kalinda, one of the NUST team members said: “We must continue to use our limited water wisely and always be on the lookout for leaks and fix them promptly. One must always remember that our environment needs water too.”
The learners were curious to know whether there were any other water sources for the city besides the Von Bach, Swakopport and Omatako Dams. The learners also asked if desalinating seawater can be another option of meeting the growing demand for water.
Shirley Bethune, the lecturer who led the team, responded by saying: “Alternative resources have been drawn to help cope with the crisis. For example, 20% of the water supply comes from reclaimed water and the city has increased the water supplied through boreholes to the southern areas from 5% to 20% as an emergency measure. Alternatives such as desalination would be too expensive”.
The learners expressed their appreciation for the visit saying that they had learnt a lot about the importance of saving this natural resource as well as general knowledge concerning water.
For instance, the fact that Windhoek was the first city in the world to reclaim its semi-purified water back to drinking water standard, was news to the young minds.