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  • Origin: Where does the drinking water come from? What lakes or rivers are there? How often does it rain?
  • Availability: Does the country have plenty of drinking water or is it scarce?
  • Infrastructure: How widespread is access to safe drinking water and sanitation? What condition are pipes and sewers in?
  • Water usage: What is drinking water in this country used for? How much does every person use per day?
  • Projects: What projects regarding drinking water (supply or demand management) are planned, on-going or completed in this country?
  • Opportunities and threats: What are the biggest problems facing this country in the future? What is being done to solve them?
  • Norms and regulations: How is drinking water regulated? Are there efficiency standards for water-using appliances?
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Namibia

Namibia's climate is among the driest in Africa, second only to the Sahara desert 1. Average annual rainfall is low at an estimated 285 mm, of which:

  • 83 per cent evaporates
  • 14 per cent is used up by vegetation
  • 1 per cent recharges groundwater
  • 2 per cent becomes runoff 2

Some of the main rivers flowing through Namibia are: the Zambezi, Okavango, Swakop and Kwando rivers.

In 2012, a new aquifer was discovered in the Ohangwena region around 300 metres below the ground. Scientists believe it could supply enough drinking water to the area for 400 years, yet insist the aquifer must be used sustainably and treated as a back-up rather than a solution for the region's water woes 3.

Namibia is a pioneer when it comes to reusing wastewater 4. Recycled water is supplied to households, for irrigation and industrial purposes.


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Does the country have plenty of drinking water or is it scarce?

Availability

In 2011, Namibia's renewable internal freshwater resources were above the water stress threshold at 2,778 litres per person 1. However, people do not necessarily live where plenty of water is available.

Rainfall has been sparse in the last couple of years and is thus carefully monitored, along with resulting river flows as well as inflow to Namibia's dams 2.

In 2010, Namibia's first major desalination plant was inaugurated. It will provide 20 million cubic metres of water per year, most of which will be used for mining and the rest by the community 3.


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How widespread is access to safe drinking water and sanitation? What condition are pipes and sewers in?

Infrastructure

93 per cent of the population have access to an improved drinking water source, but only 32 per cent have access to improved sanitation, according to 2011 WHO figures 1.

The leakage rate in Namibia was 14 per cent in 2009, while 4.9 cubic metres of water per kilometre of pipe was lost per day 2.


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What is drinking water in this country used for? How much does every person use per day?

Water usage

What projects regarding drinking water (supply or demand management) are planned, on-going or completed in this country?

Projects

There are plans to build a second desalination plant to produce water for uranium mines 1. However, it is unclear whether operations will indeed start in 2014 as scheduled originally 2.

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What are the biggest problems facing this country in the future? What is being done to solve them?

Opportunities and Threats

Namibia is in the grip of the worst drought - linked to climate change - in three decades; crops are drying up fast, and one third of the population is at risk of going hungry at least some of the time 1.

Climate change is predicted to lead to more intensive rainfall spread over shorter periods of time. Moreover, temperatures will probably continue to rise. Taken together, these phenomena may well result in more frequent and severe droughts as well as floods 2.


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Authors

09:27, 02 Jan 2014watersaving.comSwitzerland
12:41, 23 Dec 2013watersaving.comSwitzerland
12:40, 23 Dec 2013watersaving.comSwitzerland
12:39, 23 Dec 2013watersaving.comSwitzerland
12:39, 23 Dec 2013watersaving.comSwitzerland
12:36, 23 Dec 2013watersaving.comSwitzerland
09:49, 17 Dec 2013watersaving.comSwitzerland
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