The media has recently carried a number of articles highlighting the dire state of the water reserves in Namibia due to the current drought, especially in the central region where Windhoek, the capital, is situated. According to Namwater, Namibia’s bulk water supplier, water reserves as they currently stand will last until September 2016, if there are no inflows into the dams during the next rain season. After that date, water supply from boreholes, water recycling and the canal from the north will only be sufficient to satisfy about half the demand. If the water shortages do materialise in 2016, it is likely to have a meaningful impact on the overall Namibian economy, in terms of growth, job security, investment, poverty alleviation and industrialisation.
This document is a brief analysis of the central region’s water infrastructure and supply capacity, the demand for water and the outlook for rain in the region. We then finally look at how some businesses we have spoken to will be affected and what contingency plans have been made.