Stakeholders discuss solutions to water and climate change challenges

NamWater, in collaboration with stakeholders including the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, is hosting a workshop to evaluate the development and management of water resources for water security and climate change adaptation.

The two-day National Workshop on Water Security and Climate Change in Namibia started in Windhoek on Monday and is being attended by representatives from government, public enterprises, and the private sector.

The workshop takes place at a time when Namibia’s water sector faces challenges such as declining infrastructure and water quality, as well as a lack of investment.

In a statement read on his behalf, Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform Minister Calle Schlettwein noted that addressing these challenges requires strong collaboration between the central government and other key players.

“In 2012, Namibia held its first-ever water investment conference, and huge interest was generated with very little or no commitment. As the water sector faces a further daunting task of securing water for all, we need to redouble our efforts and pick up pace to accelerate implementation and development.

We need to move away from fragmented planning. We need to work as a team. Integrated water resources management calls for an integrated approach at all the different levels of management and operation. We are therefore required to improve sector coordination,” he said.

The minister said the national water demand will more than double by 2025 to around 583 million cubic meters and reach 772 million cubic meters annually by 2030.

“Good planning and engineering are vital to ensuring increased water supplies, but they alone cannot guarantee assured access to additional water. Demand for water will continue to increase as new industries come to the fore,” said Schlettwein.

NamWater Chief Executive Officer Abraham Nehemia said the local water sector is faced with challenges of a shortage of water resources due to climate change, deteriorating water quality, system water losses, and limited skilled human resources.

“At the end of this national workshop, we are all expected to understand the interplay between water security and climate change, identify different roles each and everyone has towards water security, and that the discussions and presentations will improve the implementation and formulation of evidence-based policies, strategies, and action plans,” Nehemia said.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency