Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has deferred the introduction of water rationing following reports that Umzingwane Dam alone now has water that can last the city two months, it has been learnt.
According to the latest council report, the BCC director of engineering services Simela Dube told councillors that Umzingwane Dam had received significant inflows.
“Umzingwane Dam has so far received significant inflows and currently stands at 5,2 cubic million litres, which could sustain the city for another two months,” he said.
Dube said because of this, the water rationing programme had been shelved.
“The inflow into the dam is an increase of four cubic million litres and in light of this, the water rationing programme has not been implemented and it has been deferred until further notice.”
BCC town clerk Middleton Nyoni advised that residents should use water sparingly.
Only four of the city’s five dams are operational and the local authority’s forecast is that within the next few weeks, Inyankuni and Umzingwane dams would be decommissioned if the rains do not continue to fall, leaving the city with two supply dams, Insiza and Lower Ncema.
The council report also revealed that water levels at Lower Ncema Dam had also dropped drastically.
“The level of water at Lower Ncema Dam has also dropped drastically as a result of the leaking floodgate,” states the report.
Recent figures show that despite the rains that have been falling in and around the city last month, Bulawayo’s dam levels were still critical.
Upper Ncema got the highest inflow of 12%, but the largest supply dam, Insiza, was reduced by 1,25%.
Umzingwane dam was 14% full.
However, in November last year, Water Resources Management and Development minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu and Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo said the water problems in the country’s second largest city were exaggerated.