Cape Town introduced a raft of water-saving measures among them residents not being allowed to flush their toilets and it even introduced water rationing such as residents being allowed a daily water allowance of 50 litres each.
The situation is so dire that Cape Town even mooted the improbable idea to tow an iceberg from the Antarctica over a distance of 2000 kilometres to the South African city to avert a possible water calamity that could still happen in 2019.
Spokesperson of the City of Windhoek, Lydia Amutenya yesterday told New Era that while they appreciate that some people are doing everything to adhere with the municipality’s call to save water, others are not yielding the call simply because they can afford to pay for the water.
“It’s not about affordability it’s about the source,” cautioned Amutenya. She said that the southern part of Windhoek including areas such as Academia and Cimbebasia are already using water from boreholes and that in times of crisis, NamWater could reduce their water supply to the municipality by up to 70 percent. The City of Windhoek last week urged residents to save water by up to 10 percent.
After assessing the situation for the three years to come, NamWater declared after the last rainy season, only 24,91 percent of the expected inflow in the dams was filled, according to a press release from the City of Windhoek. Amutenya said yesterday that restrictions would be enforced so that all excessive water use activities would be minimised.
For outdoor watering, lawns and plants can only be watered twice a week. All flowers and vegetables can only be watered by hand, and watering is forbidden from 9:00 to 18:00 in the summer and between 10:00 and 16:00 during the winter, according to the press release from the City of Windhoek.
As for the public gardens and sports fields, they will be maintained with semi-purified water. For the car washing, it is allowed at home only with a bucket or pressure cleaner. And for the commercial car washings, it is limited to 30 litres per car and needs to be certified as authorised.
For the pools, water savings are required, and the pool covers are mandatory. Fountains and water features cannot be operating, according to the press release.
Amutenya further urged residents to look out for water leakages and report them. “Sometimes people have leaks and they discover it too late,” she said.
Amutenya also said that water scarcity does not just affect Windhoek but rather the central part of Namibia.
*Lucie Mouillaud is a journalism intern from Toulouse, south of France