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Posted: 28 Apr 2023

28 APRIL 2023, 10:30
The Orano Desalination Plant (DP) went on a maintenance and repair shutdown from 18 – 22 April 2023, but due to unfavourable ocean water quality conditions (high Sulphur & turbidity) it could not be restarted on the agreed date of 23 April 2023. This resulted in the shortage of stand-by supply capacity to the Langstrand and Dolphin Beach areas via the Swakopmund route.
The Orano DP however restarted late on 25 April 2023 but with a very low flow of 250 m³/hour; and only as of yesterday (06:00) the plant flow increased to 1,200 m³/hour while the expected maximum flow is 1,800 m³/hr.
The normal route of supplying water to Langstrand and Dolphin Beach via the Mile 7 Reservoir is intact, and sufficient rationed supplies have been available. However, the main challenge of supply is that the Kuiseb Aquifer Scheme is too small and cannot fully supply the whole region in the lost production capacity of the other two main supply sources, being the Orano Plant and Omdel Aquifer Scheme. The reservoirs of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay have been managed at levels to ensure rationed water is available for approximately 15 hours to avoid systems running dry. Although the coastal residential areas on the furthest point of the supply scheme can be supplied from the Swakopmund and Walvis Bay reservoirs, it requires fuller levels at the respective reservoirs to ensure normal levels of water supply services at those locations. Similarly, the high demand of water experienced along the route when water is rationed, creates more limitations for locations at the extremities of the supply systems.
This situation is receiving the urgent attention between NamWater and the Municipality, where we already started to review the (a) designs aspects to boost pressure, (b) pipeline connection re-arrangements and (c) establishment of 48-hour storage capacity to breach longer periods of non-supply. A first technical meeting was held on 29 March 2023, which will be followed-up by more technical meetings and a Customer Briefing Session in May 2023.
Although water supply has been restored in some parts of Langstrand, Dolphin Beach and in suburbs like Kuisebmond, full restoration cannot be predicted with accuracy as it is dependent upon the inflow rate into the various system reservoirs. Due to the current low levels in the main reservoirs along the route of supply, and the higher water demand enroute, the water availability is expected to gradually increase and return to its designed functions over a few days.
It is acknowledged that the water shortage in these areas had caused a lot of inconvenience and frustration for residents and we express our sincerest appreciation for the patience showed by the residents. The Municipality and NamWater are working together to address these challenges to ensure the optimization of the supply systems and continue to do demand management around Mile 7, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Langstrand reservoirs.
We know that this situation has been challenging for everyone, and we want to assure the affected residents that we are committed to finding a sustainable solution.
At the time of releasing this statement, the levels at the reservoirs were recorded as follows:
• Namwater 56.5%
• Mile 7 53.7
• Langstrand 30%