Flooding in Walvis Bay calls for construction of a new GRP FLOWTITE™ link pipeline.
The town of Walvis Bay on the West coast of Namibia is the country’s main port and also the hub of the fishing industry. The town's fresh water supply currently relies solely on aquifers in the nearby Kuiseb River. Aquifers are underground layers of rock that are saturated with water that can be brought to the surface through natural springs or by borehole pumping. A number of pipelines and reservoirs connect the aquifers with the town’s final, 10ML reservoir, called Mile 7.
Sensors installed in the Kuiseb River during the winter dry season record changes in groundwater salinity, solute transport, and soil water storage during summer flooding.
The Kuiseb River is one of 12 westward flowing Ephemeral Rivers in Namibia, which flow for a short period following heavy rainfall. The Kuiseb River is bordered on one side by some of the tallest sand dunes in the world, and on the other by barren rock. The red sand dunes south of the river can reach heights of up to 150 meters. The prevailing winds blow the dunes northwards, but their movement is blocked by the river. In the process so much sand and silt is deposited in the Kuiseb that it only reaches the sea whilst in flood.
The rainfall in the catchment area has increased dramatically over the last decade, resulting in more frequent flooding of the lower Kuiseb where the boreholes to the aquifers are located in the river bed. Above normal rainfall and resultant floods, exceed the design capacities and robustness of the aging Kuiseb Scheme infrastructure. Flooding of the Kuiseb River is accompanied by damage to infrastructure like electricity supply, borehole pumps and water supply lines. In turn, this results in water shortages to the town, leading to discomfort and economic losses, especially in the fishing industry. Water supply disruptions have become a regular occurrence, forcing the town to make water cuts.
As seen in the pictures there is a distinctive line between the sand dunes and barren rock separated by the Kuiseb River.
The most feasible alternative to supply water to Walvis Bay during an outage, as well as to increase water supply security was to establish a transfer scheme from Swakopmund via a new pipeline. The new FLOWTITE™ pipeline links the Mile 7 Reservoir with the existing Schwarzekuppe-Swakopmund pipeline to secure a ring feed system. The Municipality of Walvis Bay, in cooperation with Namwater, the bulk water supplier of Namibia, has awarded the supply of the 4800m FLOWTITE™ pipeline, as the material of choice, to Fiberpipe. The new DN500, PN16 GRP FLOWTITE™ pipeline will run from the Rooikop offtake (Devils Fork) to the Mile 7 terminal reservoir as seen in the picture above.
FLOWTITE™ pipes have been used successfully by Namwater over the last 20 years and was chosen for this project for its cost effectiveness, ease of installation and the fact that it does not corrode. They needed a pipeline that does not require maintenance and will last for at least 50 years. As FLOWTITE™ pipes suffer no internal or external corrosion the internal surface remains smooth, resulting in very little change in the friction loss coefficiency, this means that there will be no increase in pumping costs over time. This fact has been proven by Namwater when they removed a section of the Omdel line, near Swakopmund, after 20 years in operation to find very little change to the inner bore and found it almost as smooth as it was when installed.
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