Water levels in major dams continue to decline as more farmers resort to irrigation Mrs Marjorie Munyonga

Ivan Zhakata Herald Correspondent


WATER levels in major dams have started declining as demand for irrigation water has been picking up, as a significant number of farmers are resorting to irrigation to sustain their summer crops.


In a statement, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said the decline was due to the current dry spell in the country.


Mrs Munyonga said as of February 22, 2024, at least 35 percent more water had been released from the dams for irrigation than in a normal rainy season while the national dam level average had declined to 84.2 percent from 84.4 percent on February 14, 2024.


“Dam level averages for Mashonaland East, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and the Midlands are currently below the average expected during this time of the year in a normal season,” she said.


“Decline in water levels due to increased releases for irrigation have been noted in dams such as Tugwi-Mukosi, Manyuchi, Mazvikadei, Sebakwe, Manyame, Chivero and Osborne. The proportion of cities, towns, growth points and rural service centres whose raw water sources hold sufficient water to last them for a period of at least 21 months now stands at 51.1 percent with the proportion of centres whose water supply dams have water enough to last between 12 months and 20.9 months currently at 38.3 percent.


“A proportion of 10. 9 percent of cities, towns, growth points and rural service centres is water insecure with their raw water supply dams holding water that can last them for less than 12 months. The proportion is expected to grow should the current drought conditions persist.”

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