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Friday 26 April 2019
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Dam levels at lower levels compared to last year

Despite the late rains across the country, dam levels across the country continue to trail last year’s figures.

Most of the dams are way below the levels that were recorded last year. This has raised fears amongst those operating in the water sector that Namibia could face a water shortage within a year if dam levels across the country do not surpass the 50 percent mark soon or if the next rains do not come earlier than anticipated.

Water levels at Namibia’s major dams remain low to insignificant despite recent rains.

The country’s biggest dam Hardap Dam stood at 47.9 percent last week. Dam caretaker Deon Huma says it is not sufficient but  it can get the region to the next rain season.

“The inflow at the dam was very low this year compared to last year. We did not have much water coming from the catchment areas. But for sure the dam can provide water for the Hardap region till the next season,” he said.

Last year, the dam had to open sluices to maintain the dam levels at a volume of 72 percent. With no hope for rain, the risk of the dams drying up remains inevitable. The Naute Dam sits at 87.7 percent full compared to 96 percent last season. Oanab Dam last season recorded a 90 percent capacity but dropped to 68.9 this season. Olushandja Dam last year set at 47 percent and drastically dropped to 31 percent this year. The Omaruru Delta Dam and Omatjenne Dam are empty.

The Von Bach Dam last week set at 56.8 percent compared to 59 percent capacity last year while the Omatako Dam cannot be relied on with only 8 % capacity. The Goreangab Dam is currently full but its’ capacity will as usual need support to provide for the growing population of the city.

City of Windhoek Public Relations Officer Scheifert Shigwedha also raised concerns highlighting the low volumes at Omatako Dam.

Windhoek gets its water supply from the Swakoppoort, Von Bach and the nearly empty Omatako Dam.

“The water issue is a concern for the city. Although we received good rainfalls, our dams did not get enough so it will be a concern going forward,” he said.

The overall percentage of water in the country’s water reservoirs currently sits at 45.5 percent compared to 62.3 percent last season.