City to Fine Residents for Not Saving Water

IN A move to force residents to save water, the City of Windhoek said it will penalise households using more than 50 cubic meters per month.

This was announced yesterday by City of Windhoek’s manager for corporate communications and customer care Joshua Amukugo.

Amukugo could not say how much those found guilty would be charged, saying the charges are still to be published in the Government Gazette before the City can adopt them.

Amukugo said the City has been grappling with a water shortage since 2013, when they announced that there is insufficient flow into the NamWater surface reservoirs, which are serving the central area from where Windhoek is supplied. Truddy Beukes, section engineer for bulk water and waste water division, said more than 3 000 households fall in the category of using more than 50 cubic meters per month.

Beukes said they have already warned residents found to be misusing water two times, requesting them to reduce their water level consumption.

“We have written to them in 2013 and 2014, so they are aware of this. The charges will be effective from 1 July 2015,” she said adding that should the date come before it has been gazetted, residents will be charged retroactively.

The City also announced in March this year that it will be able to provide sufficient water to its residents only until the middle of next year if dams supplying the city with water are not replenished in the meantime.

At the time, Amukugo said it was projected that the Von Bach Dam would be able to supply the city with water up to the middle of June 2016 before it ran dry, while Swakoppoort Dam would only be able to supply water until the end of July 2016. This situation is expected to change if rains fall.

“It is unfortunate that despite all interventions, only about 5,7% water savings have been achieved for the month of April 2015, and we appealed for at least 15%,” he said yesterday.

In the meantime, compulsory swimming pool covers are expected. All car wash businesses should comply with the regulatory requirements which he said state that no washing of cars with a hosepipe is allowed, a but bucket is suitable.

“No hosing of paved areas with water will be allowed, and once found, you will be fined. We are introducing new penalty tariffs brackets on high consumption, meaning that if you consume more than 50 cubic meters per month at domestic levels you will be charged more,” Amukugo asserted.

He noted that as a final resort – if all efforts fail in the next three months – the municipality will have to introduce water rationing from 1 October and the intervals will be communicated.

Amukugo said for households to reduce their water usage, they should water their gardens only once a week wash full loads of clothing only shower instead of running a bath and promptly fix leaking toilets.

“It should be noted that in order to enforce these measures, our water inspectors and City Police will do random monitoring and if found contravening these measures, you will be fined.”

Source : The Namibian