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Namibia plans a new desalination plant

  • Namibia plans new desalination plant

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The Government of Namibia is planning to build a new desalination plant to increase the water supply in the northern regions of the country, informs the Namibia Economist.

Emma Theofelus, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, said that a feasibility analysis will be undertaken to inform the decision-making process prior to the plant's implementation. Funding for this study will be provided by a grant from the African Development Bank.

Cabinet has approved the prioritisation of the long-term water supply solution like the Okavango-Link and a desalination project to reduce any foreseen risks from insufficient water supplies”, said the minister.

The Okavango River's long-term water supply, preliminarily approved by Cabinet, would have a capacity of 32 million cubic meters annually. Cabinet instructed the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform to inform the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM) about Namibia's intentions regarding the Okavango Link Project.

This decision follows the realization that without water inflows into the dams, the existing water sources will only be able to sustain a regular water supply to Namibia's Central Areas until July 2025. To meet this goal, consumers must achieve a 5% reduction in water usage, while Namwater will address inefficiencies in current water distribution systems through efforts to upgrade infrastructure and enhance maintenance.

Water shortages are anticipated in the central areas within the next 4 to 7 years if a sustainable long-term water supply solution is not implemented. This is regardless of various ongoing short to medium-term projects towards increasing water security, including a second reclamation plant for direct potable reuse, upgrades to the Gammams and Otjomuise wastewater treatment plants, the Berg Aukas capacity enhancement, and the Abenab development.

Meanwhile, in the southern regions of Namibia, studies will be undertaken to look into the feasibility of using pipelines from the Neckartal, Hardap and Naute dams to increase the availability of drinking water.

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