Bulawayo tightens water rationing, 350 litres a day for high-density suburbs

09 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Bulawayo tightens water rationing, 350 litres a day for high-density suburbs

The Sunday News

Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor

THE Bulawayo City Council has further tightened its water rationing regime and introduced punitive fines for those exceeding daily expected limits.

The stringent measures contained in the latest council report include the reduction of the present free water allocation of 5 000 litres per month by 40 percent to 3 000 litres are meant to ensure the availability of the precious liquid right through the year.

Residents will further pay US$4,13 per kilolitre which they use outside of their daily allocation.

The last time the water rationing schedule was revised was in February 2021, where, by then the motive was to bring daily consumption figures to a sustainable figure of maximum or below 120 megalitres a day.

Bulawayo is going through one of its worst water crises in recent years due to the El Nino-induced dry spell that saw low inflows in its supply dams.

The city had to decommission Umzingwane Dam and is set to commission Upper Ncema as levels continue to drop, with the water available in its dams projected to be insufficient to provide an adequate continuous supply of water in the city.

“In view of the reduced inflows received during the 2023/24 rainy season, the city was currently still under a 120-hour shedding programme that was introduced in December 2023. The dams were currently at an average of 38,09 percent compared to 58,01 percent in the same period last year when the city was on a daily restoration shedding.

“The city had always maintained water rationing to manage demand in line with the city’s abstraction, pumping and treatment capacities. The current average consumption stood approximately at 120 000 cubic metres a day. Due to the insignificant inflows received in the dams a review of the rationing programme was proposed,” reads the report.

In the new water rationing guidelines, daily water consumption for high-density suburbs has been reduced from 450 litres to 350 litres, while for low-density suburbs the daily limits have been reduced from 650 litres to 550 litres.

All residential areas with bulk meters have their daily allocations cut by 10 percent to 60 percent of the average water they used for the period ending December 2023, while for residential flats with individual meters, the daily limits have been reduced from 400 litres to 300 litres while multi-purpose buildings with bulk meters their allocation is 60 percent of average water for the six months ending March 2024.

Hotels have their daily allocation cut by 30 percent to 65 percent of the average water used in the six months ending April 2024 and hospitals and clinics, have been allocated 70 percent of the average water used for the six months ending April 2024, a reduction of 25 percent.

For industrial consumers, their daily allocation has been cut by 30 percent to 60 percent of average water use in the six months ending March 2024 while water-based industries have had their allocation cut by 25 percent to 70 percent of average water use for the six months ending December 2023.

Restaurants on the other hand have had their daily allocation cut by 35 percent to 60 percent of average water used in the six months ending December 2023 and commercial consumers, schools, churches, institutions, sports clubs have since had their daily consumption cut by 30 percent to 65 percent of average water used in the six months ending March 2024.

Peri-urban Esigodini, Matopos, Imbizo Barracks, Sigola and Duncan villages will now get a daily allocation of 70 percent of average water used in the six months ending December 2023, down from 75 percent.

Connections to vacant stands and areas outside Bulawayo have also been suspended.

“Consumers are urged to monitor their water consumption daily by reading their meters. This helps detect any unnecessary loss of water. The ban on the use of hose pipes for gardening be maintained with this proposed water rationing scheme and construction with potable water will remain prohibited.

“Consumers are urged to use boreholes and reclaimed water for non-potable uses. The current system would only connect those that were within the boundaries that were under development and those that would be incorporated under the new city development masterplan,” reads the report. 

 

 

 

 

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