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Bulawayo City introduces ‘punishing’ 72-hour water shedding

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

BULAWAYO City Council will this Wednesday start introducing a gruelling 72-hour water shedding regime as the water situation continues to worsen.

In a notice to residents, Town Clerk, Christopher Dube said the development will result in residents going for three days without the precious liquid.

The city is currently on a 48-hour water shedding schedule owing to dwindling water levels in the city’s supply dams, as well as vandalism of water reticulation infrastructure and electricity installations.

The current power shortages have also worsened the situation as it is now taking more time to fill the city water reservoirs.

According to the latest council report, the city’s consumption rate has been on an upward trend and is now averaging 155 magalitres a day, while maximum available raw water supply is 105 megalitres a day. This leaves a shortfall of 50 megalitres between demand and supply.

“Meanwhile, the city has been on 24-hour water shedding since its introduction on 5 June, 2022. In 2021, the 48 –hour shedding was introduced when water consumption of 157 megalitres a day was no longer sustainable. Given the trend in water supply delivery against consumption during the year from January 2022, it is prudent that the 48-hour shedding be introduced in order to manage water demand which if not managed sooner will result in catastrophic consequences,” reads the report.

The local authority has reportedly put on standby three water bowsers to deliver water to areas on higher ground, which get little or no water.

The local authority is seized with water augmentation.

“Engagements are underway with development partners to avail more resources towards water delivery and improved sanitation in the city. Disinfection of water kiosks to be set in motion and start delivering water through water bowsers,” further stated the report.