NamWater has revealed that water use in agronomy is expected to increase sharply in the coming years, urging farmers to utilise latest water conservation technologies.
Vaino Shivute, NamWater Chief Executive Officer told participants at the Bank of Namibia symposium held recently under the theme ‘Feeding
Namibia: Agricultural Productivity and Industrialisation’ that agriculture should adapt to using less water more efficiently.
“Demand for irrigation water will increase significantly up to 2030″.
“Demand for urban, mining and tourism water will increase gradually while rural and domestic demand will grow very slowly. Water for livestock consumption does not show any growth at all, suggesting that livestock numbers will not go up,” Shivute said Shivute said due to population growth, urbanisation, industrialisation and climate change, improved water use efficiency will need to be matched by reallocation of as much as 40% of water in water-stressed regions from lower to higher productivity and employment activities.
Namibia’s total water demand is expected to increase from 426.7 million cubic metres utilised in 2015 to 635.6 million by 2025.
The bulk of this will be used by irrigated agriculture, which is expected to increase from 204.6 million cubic metres utilised in 2015 to 379.8 million by 2025.
“Given that irrigated agriculture is on average at least twice as productive per unit of land compared to non-irrigated practices, it provides an important buffer against increasing climate variability, and allows for more secure crop diversification.
Thus, it is certain that irrigation will continue to play a key role in ensuring food and nutrition security,” Shivute said.
He called on farmers to maximise the use of water and called for a need to look at irrigation technology.
“The technology is available. Namibia must simply acquire the technology and put it to good use.
Thus, the volume of water that Namibia has at its disposal can enable the country to establish a viable crop sector producing more than enough to meet local demand and also to produce for processing industries.”