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Environment and health
A variety of environmental problems are experienced in Namibia’s irrigation schemes. While no figures exist as to the extent of these problems, anecdotal evidence suggests that most are small-scale and manageable. Environmental problems include soil salinity problems in the Hardap and Aussenkehr Schemes, siltation of and reed growth in canals and weed invasion in the Hardap Scheme, soil compaction and runoff problems at the Shadikongoro farm in the Okavango Region.
Apart from the above, good drainage and/or good quality water leave most schemes trouble-free. For example, although the Naute Scheme’s soils are saline, water quality and drainage are good and so leaching effectively deals with salinity. On small-scale groundwater irrigation schemes, it is often found that boreholes with sufficient pressure for irrigation tend to be those with good quality water, and vice versa.