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BCC to decommission Umzingwane Dam

by Staff reporter
12 Dec 2021 at 19:22hrs | Views
BULAWAYO City Council is set to decommission one of its major water supply dams, Umzingwane, due to reduced water level, which has dropped to 6,7%.

Council engineer Sikhumbuzo Ncube revealed this during the water and sewerage services improvement project, water and services delivery indaba held at the Large City Hall yesterday.

The development is set to pile more misery on residents who are currently grappling with water-shedding.

"We recommissioned Umzingwane when it was at 16% and Upper Ncema Dam two years back when they were at their lowest. Currently, Umzingwane Dam is sitting at its lowest, 6,7%.

"If we receive little rain we might see it (dam) being decommissioned again," Ncube said.

He said one of the challenges they faced was that of non-revenue water, while water which is billed was not enough for consumption.

"Scarcity is what we have in this city when it comes to water. We have 40% non-revenue water which is the loss of water that we have, this basically means 60% of water finds its way to the consumers.

"As Bulawayo, we are sitting on 74 litres per capita per day, but the actual demand is around 106 and we seem to have the smallest in terms of the per capita allocation as compared to other cities. This is because of the challenges that we face as a city," he said.

Ncube said the only time the city received enough water was in 2017.

"You will realise that whenever we receive rains, the assumption is always that dams are now full. But the only time our dams spilled was in 2017. This year, we only had rains in March, and our dams only managed to get to about 70%.  So it is increasingly becoming difficult for our dams to refill as much as we receive rains, but the rains are continually not enough," he added.

Ncube said the other challenges included service reservoirs such as Tuli that were experiencing unstable water supplies due to inadequate infrastructure and excessive water usage.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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