By Daniel Chigundu
Engineer Hosiah Chisango says Harare is only left with about 15 months supply of water and the city will be introducing water rationing and conservation in the next few weeks.
Lake Chivero which is Harare’s main source of water has been affected by siltation from urban agriculture activities resulting in the reduction of its depth.
Chisango who is Harare’s town clerk said if it does not rain any time soon, the city could be thrown into a big crisis in as far as water supply is concerned and that the city is working on the rationing schedule.
“Our calculations we have been basing them on the 28 metre depth and then we would say I have got 3 years supply of water but now with that siltation it means we may be sitting on around 15 months’ supply of water for the city which is not a good a position for the city so it’s important that we start water rationing, water conservation.
“So the message is let’s start water conservation then we introduce that water rationing to make sure we stretch the resources that we have,” he said.
The town clerk added that “if we are favoured and the rains come we will always be adjusting that upwards to make sure that people get more water but we have to go to the basics of supply, so the key issue is our shutdown this weekend, we hope then once we are able to adjust those periscopes we can improve on water supply but we are not blowing supply we have to keep it restricted so that we stretch the current resource,” he said.
According to engineer Chisango, the city is not able to provide water to such areas as Mabvuku at current production levels and is hoping to increase it if they manage to fix the abstraction periscopes over the weekend.
“Currently with what we are able to extract here the quality, the production is standing at about 360 megalitres per day and at that level of production other areas are totally cut out.
“We can only supply areas such as Mabvuku which are the furthest if we are getting a minimum of 450 megalitres so our work over the weekend is trying to target to 450 if we can adjust those two periscopes, then from there we are able to say Mabvuku we can restore that 2 days water supply back but as it stands with the water situation we have to manage it in that way,” he said.
Concerning the water rationing, the engineer said “we have to start it this month, I will not say immediately because we are want to see what comes out from the works that we will do over the weekend but in the next two weeks we will be able to inform the city over the scheduling.
“There are certain areas in Harare that were getting most of the water we are looking at our Western suburbs we have to get in there to make sure that we start rationing water and instead of the 5, 6 and 7 days we then have to take another day away so that we spread that water to the Eastern areas, so there is an issue of water rationing that is coming,” he said.-