Sunday, October 17, 2021

Water Affairs urges rainwater harvesting – Director

The Director in the Department of Water Affairs, Bogadi Mathangwane, has told a press briefing that her ministry promotes rainwater harvesting.

She was responding to a question seeking clarity on Water Utilities Corporation position is on rain water harvesting.

This emanated from the fact that in countries that are as water stressed as Botswana the initiative is highly encouraged, but locally, despite the recent high rainfalls, the majority of Batswana have not harvested any water.

 Mathangwane highlighted that the initiative is part of water policy which also covers water carrier infrastructure.

“In fact rain water harvesting falls under the National Water Policy strategy of water conservation. We are trying to set up infrastructure for the harvesting project in the Central Business District (CBD) because research has shown that the infrastructure can collect about 12 000 cubic metre of rain water per annum. You can see that this is a lot that WUC can save,” said Mathangwane.

On whether since Botswana Power Corporation has phased out energy wasting bulbs and introduced energy saving ones, WUC had plans to phase out water system toilets’ gadgets that waste much water, Mathangwane explained that they were working with the Ministry of Infrastructure to come up with holistic approach of construction transformation. Standards would be set up to so that it would be requirement that certain gadgets should be present for a building to be considered apt.

 Prior to that, Mmetla Masire, WUC Chief Executive Officer had noted that: “The southern part of the country has for the past years been hit by severe water shortages which saw WUC introducing more stringent water restrictions and the unpopular water rationing. This unfavourable situation of the dams in the south was exacerbated by the excessive monthly drop in water levels due to a combination of factors including overdraft from dams and high evaporation rates.”

 He said it should be noted that of the monthly drop in levels, two thirds is due to evaporation which under normal circumstances warrants abstraction from dams at rates in excess of the safe yields.  The limited precipitation over the years, he said has resulted in low groundwater recharge jeopardising the sustainability and viability of groundwater resources countrywide.

“This, coupled with deficiencies in the current operational system of many boreholes, which is inclined to over pumping or mining of the resource owing to an imbalance between supply and demand had resulted in aquifer deterioration and drying up of boreholes in many parts of the country,” he explained.

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