The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council has re-introduced its 48-hour water shedding regime just two weeks after it suspended the programme, citing low water levels at some of its supply dams.
The local authority recently suspended its water shedding regime before warning residents that the schedule might be re-introduced if residents failed to bring down daily water consumption. The local authority has also previously implored residents not to panic, regarding the city’s water situation, arguing that the initial water shedding schedule was due to dilapidated infrastructure which led to erratic pumping of water into its main reservoir, Criterion.
In the latest stringent water conservation measures the local authority has not only re-introduced a 48-hour water shedding schedule but further tightened its water rationing limits, re-introducing the ban on the use of hose pipes for gardening.
In a statement, Bulawayo Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube revealed that the water shedding will affect all areas in the city supplied by both Criterion and Magwegwe reservoirs.
“The City of Bulawayo would like to advise members of the public that there will be an emergency re-introduction of a 48-hour water shedding programme to areas that are supplied by both Criterion and Magwegwe reservoirs as and when need arises. This will be done to protect the two reservoirs from reaching critical levels and has been necessitated by erratic pumping from both Mtshabezi and Nyamandlovu and low water levels in both Upper Ncema and Umzingwane dams,” said Mr Dube.
He said the local authority would either increase or decrease the water shedding period as per the levels at these two reservoirs.
“The water shedding programme is subject to change if the reservoir level improves or deteriorates beyond the critical level. All the areas that are likely to be affected for more than 48 hours will have water supply by bowsers. Residents are urged to conserve water until further notice,” said the town clerk.
According to the schedule, areas that are fed from Criterion reservoir Nkulumane, Nketa, Sizinda, Tshabalala, Bellevue, Newton West and West Somerton supplies will be cut on Monday at 8am and be restored on Wednesday at 8am. Emganwini, Pumula and Nketa 9 supplies would be cut on Wednesday at 8am and restored on Friday at 8am. Mr Dube said in Cowdray Park, Emakhandeni, Gwabalanda and Maplanka water would be cut on Wednesday at 8am and be restored on Friday at 8am.
Areas that are fed from the Magwegwe reservoir such as Luveve, Magwegwe, Njube, Entumbane, Mpopoma, Lobengula, Mabutweni, Iminyela, Pelandaba and Matshobana will not have water from Monday 8am until Wednesday 8am.
In terms of water rationing limits, residents at high density suburbs are expected to use 450 litres a day while at low density suburbs, cottages and servants’ quarters they are expected to use 650 litres a day. All residential flats with bulk meters are expected to use 70 percent of average water period ending March 2017, residential flats with individual meters; 400 litres a day, multi-purpose buildings with bulk meter; 70 percent of average water six months period ending March 2017, hotels are expected to use 95 percent of average water six months period ending March 2017 while hospitals and clinics are expected to use 95 percent of average water six months period ending March 2017.
For industrial consumers, they are expected to use 90 percent of average water six months period ending March 2017, water based industries; 95 percent of average water six months period ending March 2017, restaurants; 95 percent of average water six months period ending September 2018 while commercial consumers, schools, churches, institutions and sports clubs are expected to use 95 percent of average water six months period ending March 2017.
Connections to vacant stands and areas outside Bulawayo has also been suspended.
“The ban on use of hose pipes for gardening is reintroduced with this proposed water rationing scheme. Construction with potable water remains prohibited. Consumers are urged to use boreholes and reclaimed water for non-potable uses and water connections for areas outside Bulawayo remain suspended until the system has been upgraded to take in more consumers.
“For those who exceed their water allocations, penalties will be effected against them. The current tariff for penalty is $2,50 per kilolitre and are effected for the domestic users and the rest remain the same as before. Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of the water rationing scheme is guilty of an offence,” said Mr Dube.