The Answer To The World's Water Shortages, Nambia On Cutting Edge Of Wastewater Recycling

The nation of Nambia has been on the cutting edge of recycled water technology due to having discovered a process that allows them to recycle their waste water back into water that is drinkable and non-toxic. This has made the capital city of Nambia, Windhoek a recent hot topic in the world of wastewater management and usage.

For almost 50 years the capital has succeeded in recycling water into clean drinking water for citizens of the nation. It is a locale that is surrounded by dessert and has suffered through droughts for decades. Even at present, the city's natural water sources are nearly all dried up, which makes using the developed technology so very important.

Drought-prone Namibia is a pioneer in large-scale recycling of wastewater

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PRI shares the process that allows for wastewater in Nambia to be converted back to drinkable water.

"'Everything is done biologically, by the organisms,' states Justina Haihambo, a process engineer at the plant. 'The plant was originally designed to treat 27,000 cubic meters [of sewage] a day,' says Haihambo. 'But now sometimes during peak hours, we have around 41,000 cubic meters a day. Way more than it was designed for.'"
Although judgement has been passed on the manner that the water plant has managed to produce clean drinking water, there is no question that the technology has been a savior to the African nation. Now it seems that other nations are, in fact, looking to the water treatment center in Windhoek for tips as to how to avoid water shortages in future.

Natives of Windhoek are increasingly appreciative and proud of their clean water source, seeing as the city has grown and, as mentioned, faces water shortages regularly.

Water department head Pierre van Rensburg spoke about how such technology is pertinent to survival of its population during a time when water from natural sources is so sparse.

"Our next rainy season is expected in January [or] February next year, but we know before that the dams will be out. And we also don't know how much rain we will get. We went through the last rainy season without having any inflow on the dams."
Initially when the process to recycle sewage to clean drinking water began to be used it was the government that implemented it with little concern for the opinions or views of its public. At this point, Nambian people are fully in support of the strategy used which involves bacteria converting the waste into purified H2O. The nation is now seen as a global trailblazer and provides hope to many nations like it that struggle to find clean drinking water each day.

Rensberg commented about this very fact.

"If you talk about the cradle of water reclamation, potable reclamation, everybody comes and see this. This is where it all started in 1968."
"If you look at the world, the pressing need is always in developing countries," van Rensburg says. "It's a fast-changing environment. So, you always have to be innovative to try and stay a step ahead. The fact that an idea can be generated in a developing country, that can actually inspire a similar trend in a developed country, is definitely, in my opinion, something that can happen," he says. "That is the product from this plant. It's 100 percent purified sewage water."

Despite the unsavory idea that sewage is being converted to refreshing clean water on the daily, in a world where more and more are going without such necessity, it is clear that this technology may be just the answer to ensure that all have access to this basic human need.

[Featured Image by Jack Taylor/Getty Images]