Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Scientists prodded on massive Namibian aquifer

New Era (Namibia): The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa has urged water scientists to move faster in making the hydrological research results into a massive underground aquifer publicly known.

He was referring to the recent newly discovered aquifer called Ohangwena II, that spans the northeastern region and, which flows under the boundary between Angola and Namibia. “Ohangwena has (underground) water. We had a meeting at State House to discuss drought. Cattle are dying. Then we asked, when are we going to utilise the water resources in Ohangwena? At one point those results must be known and be used in one way or another to solve a practical problem which is drought,” stressed Mutorwa. “If you found water, let the donkeys, cattle and farmers tell us that they drank that water.” Mutorwa who was speaking yesterday during the first two-day regional workshop on groundwater resources governance in trans-boundary aquifers, which Namibia, Botswana and South Africa share outlined the importance of water in arid Namibia. “Water is fundamental to the existence of life.”

The workshop is organised by the Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with Unesco to discuss the implementation of the regional – Groundwater Resources Governance in Trans-boundary Aquifers and the Stampriet-Kalahari/Karoo Aquifer project. The main goal of the project is to enhance cooperation on water security, reduce trans-boundary and water-use conflicts, and improve overall environmental sustainability. The project also aims to reinforce the capacity building of member states in managing groundwater resources; to strengthen cooperation among stakeholders and countries sharing aquifers, as well as to develop a long-term strategy for the monitoring and governance of trans-boundary aquifers. He urged governments involved in the project to redouble their efforts and to ensure that they support research initiatives and other activities through funding....

A red sand dune in Namibia, shot by Rui Ornelas, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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