Treated wastewater as a resource for sustainable water supply in Windhoek, Namibia:
Overview, drivers and benefits
Keywords:Windhoek, treated wastewater, sustainability, water supply, water demand
For decades, Windhoek, which is situated in arid Namibia, was under chronic water stress due to diminishing water supply and increasing water demand. To enhance sustainable and adequate quantities of potable water for diverse water requirements, the first wastewater recycling plant in Africa was constructed. This paper provides an overview of Windhoek’s water resources and shows how treated wastewater makes an invaluable contribution to promoting the security of supply. The paper concludes that the main drivers for implementing wastewater recycling plants are population growth, urbanisation and industrialisation coupled with poor rainfall, drought and climate change coupled with the paucity of alternative freshwater sources within this central area in Namibia. Windhoek’s experience shows that treated wastewater does play a key role in the water supply system, but it requires adequate upgrading, comprehensive planning, training and ongoing commitment for its continued success.
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