6.7 Evaluation and Way Ahead

Since 2013, the water demand in the Central Area of Namibia was well above the 95 percent safe yield of the available resources. The water demand for the City of Windhoek alone is expected to nearly double by 2050. In 2014 an Environmental Impact Assessment recognized the positive socio-economic impacts of the MAR scheme in creating a sustainable water source for the Central Area of Namibia. MAR is therefore considered an essential component for securing the future of the population in the central area and will play a key role in sustaining development and socio-economic health (Murray, 2017).

In the recent drought (2015 to 2016), borehole water together with strict demand management provided Windhoek’s water security. This was possible because the aquifer had been replenished via borehole injection prior to the drought. When fully developed, it is expected that the city’s water bank will be able to provide security for three years as the sole water resource during drought conditions.

The Windhoek Aquifer is especially vulnerable along the quartzites in the Auas Mountains and along the foothills of the mountains, which lie on the southern edge of the Windhoek basin. Concerns were expressed about the wide range of threats to the aquifer, e.g., sewer pipe bursts and leakages from septic tanks, filling stations, dumpsites and cemeteries. Unplanned settlements were likely to become major sources of contamination in the future. Special care is therefore needed to fully preserve this strategic water source for the future (Mapani, 2005). The City of Windhoek seems to be fully committed and has addressed this in town planning from the beginning. All future development areas south of the existing (2004) development were identified as areas with a high to very high pollution potential and as such were deemed “no development zones”. Various other already developed zones have restricted and prohibited uses. In some instances, the city had no choice but to relocate industries with a high pollutant potential. The commitment by the city is highlighted by the fact that two hydrogeologists were appointed to specifically address the protection of the Windhoek Aquifer (van Rensburg, 2006; du Pisanie, 2007).


Managed Aquifer Recharge: Southern Africa Copyright © 2021 by Eberhard Braune and Sumaya Israel. All Rights Reserved.