Load shedding:Water

posted by GL

17-02-14



Image Source: http://nathantimmel.com/2013/the-disintegration-of-good/

In Botswana we always seem to be shedding something. Before it was people (HIV/AIDS), then came power and now water. HIV/AIDS was understandable, developing nations are the most hit by the virus and we did something about it and are still actively doing something. Power was also to a certain extent understandable, we built a power plant in the late 80s that sustained us for over 20 years and we were in the process of building another when the load shedding started. But water shedding, I simply don't understand.

In case anyone missed Botswana has been a desert since forever. Water has been our most important resource that we lack. And the funny thing about water is that you can't make it. No matter how many guys out there claim they can make rain dances science has no way of making water so why is it that any little rain we get is not delivered to the dam? I have been reading newspaper headlines that the dam is at X% since I was teething and the fact that the problem is ongoing shows a serious lack of planning.

Botswana is split essentially into three areas in terms of rain. There south where it rarely rains. The north east where there is a rainy season (Shashe damn just flooded the roads last week) and finally the North West where it rains more regularly throughout the year. The east via the Limpopo, north via Chobe and North West via the Okavango all have rivers that are flowing all year around.

A simple but expensive solution is to ensure these rivers are constantly feeding into the Gaborone dam which unfortunately happens to be in the dry south. All the rivers could be used to ensure the level of dam remains adequate during non-rainy seasons ensuring a supply of water to the southern part of the country. Make no mistake this would be costly and take time but we have just finished spending 11 Billion pula to solve our power problem,  can something please be done about our water?

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