Curbing Walvis Bay’s water woes

10 August 2017 | Columns

Otis Finck

Walvis Bay residents can anticipate several water disruptions or certain areas could experience low water pressure due the construction of a 20 Ml (mega liters) potable water reservoir at Mile 7.

The reservoir will benefit the port city in the long run and therefore council called for patience from residence.

“The construction process which is expected to be completed in a month, will be accompanied by several water disconnections or result in low water pressure affecting certain areas,” mayor Immanuel Wilfred warned during the ordinary council meeting for July.

Council is constructing the reservoir with the aim of increasing the availability of water to Walvis Bay in times of crises for example when infrastructure is damaged due to flooding of the Kuiseb River.

CSV Cosntrution Namibia was appointed as the contractor with Lithon Porject Consultants as the project managers and consulting engineers.

The first water disruption due to the construction process was experienced in May when the contractor constructed a new manhole on the 500mm AC pipe to install a temporary bypass pipe that will eventually facilitate the connection of the new reservoir to the existing network. Due to this resident in Meersig, Fairways, the Lagoon and the central town of Walvis Bay either received no water or experienced low water pressure.

Council budgeted N$96 million for service delivery-related projects in the current financial year. These entail the implementation, upgrading and replacement of water and sewer infrastructure and upgrading of the Long Beach Reservoir pump station. The upgrading of existing wastewater treatment works, construction of new treatment plants, upgrading of Narraville pump station and construction of new pump station as well as the construction of a new reservoir at Mile 7, the upgrading of current sewage treatment plant, major replacement of defective lines, planning of a new sewage treatment plant and fencing of the landfill site falls under this category.

The rainfall in the Kuisebmond river catchment area increased over the last decade and this resulted in more frequent flooding of the lower Kuiseb where the boreholes to the aquifers are located in the river bed.

Above normal rainfall and resultant floods, exceed the design capacities and robustness of the aging Kuiseb Scheme infrastructure. Flooding of the Kuiseb River was also accompanied by damage to infrastructure like electricity supply, borehole pumps and water supply lines. In turn, this resulted in water shortages to the town, leading to discomfort and economic losses, especially in the fishing industry. Water supply disruptions thus became a regular occurrence and forced the town to make water cuts.