Ensure the Safe Extraction of Water in Namibia

Target: Namibia Department of Water Affairs

Goal: To ensure the safe extraction of aquifer water recently discovered along the Namibia/Angola border

An aquifer large enough to supply centuries of fresh water to the people of Namibia has recently been discovered in the driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa. This huge body of water, which is estimated to be 10,000 years old, sits far enough under the surface to be highly pressurized, meaning that extraction of the water would be simple and cost-effective. However, the draw of this new resource could put the supply in danger, as it sits just below a smaller saltwater aquifer that could contaminate the fresh water were the two to mix. Because of this, strict regulations on technical means of extraction need to be put in place and monitored closely to ensure that this precious resource does not go to waste.

Namibia currently gets its water from two surface level sources, the most significant of which is the Okavango River. This trans-boundary waterway is a source of life in the region, but has been greatly affected in the last decade by climate change and a shift in wet/dry seasons. Because of this, interstate cooperative committees already exist to manage the water resources in the area, which could come in useful when dealing with the newly discovered aquifer. Working in cooperation with such joint committees as the Angola Namibia Joint Commission of Cooperation and the Permanent Okavango River Basin Commission (OKACOM) could help maintain sustainable levels of fresh water not only in the aquifer but among all of the area’s water resources.

While each state, corporation, and individual in the region is ultimately responsible for what happens to this aquifer, the Namibia Department of Water Affairs can have a hand in protecting the water that has been discovered. Sign this petition and urge that they work in conjunction with other local water authorities to ensure the safe and sustainable extraction of this life-sustaining resource.


To the Department of Water Affairs:

The newly discovered aquifer in Namibia means great things for the development of your country. The aquifer will supply the people of Namibia with a more stable water resource, and will impact other countries in the region also. However, it is necessary to ensure the greatest protection of this aquifer, as any incorrect drilling procedures could unintentionally result in the contamination of this fresh water aquifer with salt water from nearby sources.

By working with local and interstate committees such as OKACOM and the Namibia Angola Joint Committee on Cooperation, as well as the German Federal Institute for Geoscience and Natural Resources who assisted in the discovery of the aquifer, you can ensure that this important resource is extracted safely and sustainably. Once technical procedures for extraction are put into place, it is vital that your department closely monitor those attempting to extract water, to ensure that it is able to remain a viable source for centuries to come.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: UNHCR via Flickr

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198 Signatures

  • Frédérique Pommarat
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  • Lynn Juozilaitis
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