HomeLocal NewsByo dams running dry

Byo dams running dry

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Bulawayo City Council yesterday said water levels at its supply dams had dropped to an average of 43,1% of their holding capacity, and warned residents to use water sparingly to avoid a major crisis.

Council spokesperson Nesisa Mpofu told NewsDay water levels from the five supply dams had dropped from 362 631 700 cubic metres to 156 423 988 cubic metres. The city now relies on four dams, namely Insiza, Inyankuni, Lower Ncema and Umzingwane, after Upper Ncema was decommissioned as its water levels dropped to unsustainable levels.

Council recently warned Umzingwane Dam could also be decommissioned by the end of this week as its levels had reportedly reached alarming levels.

“In a bid to ensure that residents are not affected by shortage of water, the council will also put in place water bowsers with a capacity of at least 7 000 litres, which will supply the residential areas in case the water shedding takes longer than expected,” Mpofu said.

The water-shedding regime, which is expected to come into effect tomorrow, would see most suburbs going without water for two days every week while individual households would be required to use a maximum of 350 litres per day for eastern suburbs and 300 litres for western suburbs.

However, businesses and residents in the city centre have been spared the water-shedding schedule. Mpofu said consumers who flout the daily limits would be fined $1 500.

Early this week, council set up a water crisis stakeholders’ committee to devise ways of addressing the city’s deepening water crisis after efforts to expedite completion of the Mtshabezi-Umzingwane pipeline project, touted as a short-term solution to the city’s water woes, seem to have hit a snag.

The project is reported to have stalled after one of the companies that lost the tender for the electrification of the project approached the courts seeking an order to compel the State Procurement Board to reverse the awarding of the tender to AC Controls (Pvt) Ltd.

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