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Bulawayo to experience 72 hours water shedding

by BCC
23 Oct 2019 at 13:23hrs | Views
The City of Bulawayo would like to advise residents, stakeholders and members of the public of the revision of the current 48 hour water shedding programme to 72 hour water shedding programme with immediate effect.
Council has made the decision to introduce 72 hour water shedding programme per week due to a number of challenges which have been experienced over the past weeks. The City's water demand over the last three weeks has increased from an average of 135 megalitres per day to 150 megalitres per day. In comparison to the raw water production figures of 110 Megalitres per day, resulting in a deficit of 45 -60 mega litres per day. This deficit in the past has been largely managed through the introduction of a 48 -hour water shedding programme.

The City has faced a number of water supply disruptions which have affected the water supply situation.

Some of these challenges include:

• Intermittent power supply to Ncema Water Treatment plant and Fernhill pumping station, Umzingwane and Inyankuni dams.

Ncema and Fernhill are supplied by dedicated power supply which is ordinarily exempt from load shedding. This however has changed for the past one and half months with Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) from time to time requesting for Ncema and Fernhill to reduce the load on the national grid. Further to that dams with pumping boosters such as Inyankuni and Umzingwane have experienced regular power shedding. This has reduced the raw water delivery to Criterion Water Treatment Plant, negatively affecting the raw water buffer reservoir at Criterion. The raw water buffer level continues to decrease.

• Lack of pumping due to reduced power supply and pump breakdowns at Inyankuni and Umzingwane

Limited pumping has been a result of both power supply reductions and pump breakdowns due to old age. The raw water KSB pumps are old, and only due for replacement in March 2020 under the Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP). Currently only one set is functional at both Ncema & Fernhill. The Sulzer pumps, though relatively new in comparison, remain very old pumps as well. Work is in progress to repair the electric motors. Two booster pumps at Umzingwane Dam, which have been down since Sunday, 20 October 2019 are being repaired. The two out of three operational ones are heavily leaking and currently being welded.

• The growing City demand and Consumption, even after the introduction of the 48-hour shedding in July.

Current average consumption is at 150 Megalitres per day with an all-time peak of 170 Megalitres per day being experienced on Saturday, 19th October 2019. This is against an average abstraction and supply regime currently at 90 to 110 Megalitres per day, resulting in short-fall of 45 to 60 ML/day. This has had an overall effect of depleting and almost collapsing the City's reservoirs and hence the periodic emergency shedding that seeks to stabilize and balance these.

• Current Water Supply

I would like to further highlight the Water supply in the Supply Dams as at Wednesday, 23 October 2019 is precarious at 38.16 % with the total volume being one hundred and fifty eight million cubic meters (158 225 187 m3) and the usable volume being one hundred and forty one million cubic metres (141, 640,079m3). The City is currently being supplied by five out of six supply dams with the Upper Ncema Dam having been decommissioned in July 2019. However, the City's strategic dam of Umzingwane is currently at 6.58 % and is projected to be decommissioned in November thereby reducing the number of supply dams.

To try and mitigate the various challenges being experienced with regards to water provision, Council has been having continuous engagement with the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) to try and address the intermittent supply of electricity. Residents are advised that the water rationing allocations remain in force and they are encouraged to adhere to the limits to avoid penalties. They are further encouraged to conserve water. The City is in the process of rehabilitating all broken down boreholes (38) Citywide and the contractor is on the ground as of today. The boreholes are expected to assist in augmenting water supply for the residents during this period.

The City of Bulawayo would like to thank the residents for their patience and they are requested to bear with Council and continue to conserve water.

MAYOR 23 October 2019

Source - BCC