By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE City of Bulawayo has moved to tighten its water shedding schedule from 48 to 72 hours a week as water levels continue to decline in its dams.
Briefing journalists over the situation in Bulawayo on Wednesday, city mayor Solomon Mguni said the council’s decision to adjust its schedule was due to several challenges the local authority has been experiencing in the past weeks.
“The City of Bulawayo would like to advise residents, stakeholders and members of the public on 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 a 72-hour water shedding programme per week due to a number of challenges which it has been experiencing over the past weeks,” said the mayor.
Mguni said the city’s water demand over the last three weeks has increased from an average of 135 megalitres to 150 megalitres per day in comparison to the daily 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,” said the mayor.
Mguni said some of the challenges facing the local authority include intermittent power supply to Ncema water treatment plant and Fernhill pumping station, Umzingwane and Inyankuni dams.
He said 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,” said the mayor.
He said raw water buffer levels continue to decrease.
The mayor said council has been having continuous engagement with the ZETDC to try and address the intermittent supply of electricity.
“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,” he said.
He also encouraged residents to conserve water.
The mayor also revealed that the city is in the process of rehabilitating all the 38 broken down boreholes in the city.
“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,” he said.