Adequate water by May 2020
Uakutura Kambaekua – Since 2017, Opuwo town has been faced with diminished water supply, a predicament blamed on high water loss in distribution systems, which causes water demand to exceed supply.
NamWater’s water supply manager, Stefanus Mukuya, said the company is in the process of inspecting the situation to better identify the problem and remedial actions to be taken by the water supply authority to reduce water loss.
Mukuya said NamWater has had numerous meetings with the Opuwo town council regarding the matter since last year.
The water utility will honour its obligation by quantifying and characterising water leakages in the town’s water supply system to make sure that the town will be provided with adequate water by May 2020, he said.
“Opuwo town is being supplied an average of 44 000 cubic metres of water per month by NamWater, of which nearly 40% of the water produced is being lost at different levels of distribution systems before reaching the consumers, and as a result demand for additional water is mounting,” he said.
To meet 80 cubic metres per hour and to increase water supply capacity, NamWater is in the process of rehabilitating one borehole and drilling an extra one in Opuwo, Mukuya said.
There were also frequent cases of water being unsuitable for human consumption. Apparently this is the result of an outdated reverse osmosis system, a water purification process that uses a partially permeable membrane to remove ions, unwanted molecules and larger particles from drinking water.
“In order to improve water quality, Namwater will replace the membrane,” he said.
NamWater has identified Okondaunue as one of the places that should ease Opuwo’s water woes. Pipelines will be extended from Okondaunue to supply parts of the town with water.
Mukuya however urged residents to use water sparingly and said that some of the contributing factors for water loss is leaking pipes and taps, especially at schools, hostels and hospitals.
The chairperson of the Opuwo town council, Richard Urikee Tjazapi, said the drought has forced a lot of people to flee to the town in search for jobs. As a result, the town’s population has increased, making it a difficult for Opuwo to deliver its full services including water supply.
In order to control the water supply, the town shuts off the water between 22h00 and 05h00.
“The town’s water demand exceeds supply. The supply is roughly 80 cubic metres per hour, which stretches to 110 cubic metres per hour, meaning we have to exceed the set limit with 30 cubic metres per hour to accommodate the residents,” he said. - Nampa