Monday, December 8, 2014

Drying of Botswana's Gaborone dam due to insufficient rain

Mmoniemang Motsamai in via the Daily News (Botswana): Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Mr Kitso Mokaila has told Parliament that the drying up of Gaborone Dam and its inability to accumulate water was a result of insufficient rain in Gaborone and its catchment areas. "The fact that there had been no rains here and certainly the history of rainfall in Gaborone can be confirmed by Metrological Services", said Mr Mokaila.

He also brushed aside sentiments that small dams up stream could be responsible for the drying up of the Gaborone Dam, saying, instead such dams had been a blessing in disguise because they had been depositing water into the dam.

The Gaborone Dam is currently at 5.4 per cent, yielding 14 million litres of water a day, but had the capacity to yield 88 million litres of water a day. "And maybe in the next two weeks it will be dry and we won't be able to extract anything out of it," the minister said.

He further told MPs that when government realised the need for standardised water issues, it took a decision to give Water Utilities Corporation the authority to supply water to the nation. He said at the time, WUC was supplying water to main towns from dams and that councils were using boreholes to supply water to individual villages with water affairs doing the same.

Mr Mokaila said, however, that the charges were not standard to all the areas and it was imperative for one authority to do so. For example; he said Molepolole was paying P2.60 per kilo-litre while Selebi Phikwe was paying P1.30.

With regards to the provision of water in the southern region, he said government went a step further to negotiate with states along the Zambezi River for Botswana to source water from the Zambezi River to water the Kgalagadi-Tsabong area....

NASA image of the Gaborone Dam in Botswana, shot from the International Space Station

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