Towards a Green Campus: Assessment of Sustainable Water Use and Management at the Namibia University of Science and Technology Campuses.

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Namibia University of Science and Technology


The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) was amongst the top 40 water consumers in the drought year of 2019. Currently, the university does not have an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) which allows it to formulate strategies to conserve and manage resources on campus and thus does not yet comply with legislation that requires such Public Sector institutions in Namibia to implement one. A Water Management Strategy (WMS) forms one aspect of an EMP which will assist in the formulation of strategies to conserve and manage environmental resources on campus in the future. This study contributes baseline information towards the development of a WMS which will help the university play its part in addressing the chronic water shortage suffered in Namibia. To understand the water consumption patterns and associated costs three campuses at NUST in Windhoek were studied. Surveys and interviews were conducted, and reports, observations and water meter readings were collected over a 13-month period. The study served to highlight several areas of concern, where wasteful and inefficient practices were observed. The results show that old and decaying infrastructure, reactive maintenance, poor management, and a lack of monitoring of water use all contributed to the high-water consumption recorded at the Upper and Lower Campuses. This is not only environmentally unsustainable but also results in unnecessary economic costs. In contrast, the heightened awareness and proactive behaviour of staff and students at the Hotel School Campus combined with the implementation of water-saving strategies demonstrated that there are easily implementable mitigation measures where water could be used more efficiently, and consumption reduced. Qualitative surveys among students and staff indicated an awareness of the drought situation and the need to conserve water. The survey respondents suggested approaches and activities such as implementing water management strategies, educating, and devising techniques and technology to reduce water consumption. To support these findings, changes in management approaches in 2021 such as proactive maintenance and monitoring of consumption and municipal charges by the Facilities Department and at the Hotel School resulted in positive effects, thus suggesting the same action can be implemented across the whole university. Valuable lessons were learned from university initiatives elsewhere,such as target setting, public displays on consumption levels and real-time feedback on targets reached. These, and proactive drought mitigation strategies instigated in other countries and suggestions from key stakeholders, can form recommendations for a WMS to be implemented at NUST. xiii The findings of this study provide a basis from which to explore and practise the identified key interventions and methods. This will help reduce water consumption, make financial savings, and promote awareness of water issues leading to more environmentally favourable practices. Better water management through the development of a WMS could lead to improved sustainability and help NUST to move towards becoming a greener university for which the survey found good support.


Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Natural Resources Management at the Namibia University of Science and Technology


Environmental Management Plan, Water Management Strategy, Sustainability, Water efficiency, Greening, Environmental impact, Namibia University of Science and Technology


Symonds, A. (2023). Towards a Green Campus: Assessment of Sustainable Water Use and Management at the Namibia University of Science and Technology Campuses [Unpublished masters's thesis]. Namibia University of Science and Technology.