Sydney Kawadza Masvingo Bureau Chief
Zimbabwe’s main water bodies have enough water supplies to last more than 21 months and there are calls for the available resource to be effectively used in agriculture. National dam levels stand at an average 69,3 percent — enough to irrigate 157 000 hectares.

Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) spokesperson Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said in a statement last week that most dam levels in Zimbabwe had not recorded much change despite the rains being experienced across the country.

“Manyame catchment has the highest dam level average at 89,9 percent, followed by Mazowe catchment at 85,6 percent and Mzingwane at 82,6 percent. Runde catchment has the lowest dam level average with 56,4 percent; Save catchment’s average is 75,3 percent, Sanyati catchment 77,6 percent and Gwayi has an average of 65,2 percent,” she said.

Mrs Munyonga said the dams still hold enough water to meet the country’s agricultural and domestic needs.
“In terms of irrigation, the dams have enough water to irrigate 156 661 hectares of land,” she said. “Most dams that supply major towns and cities still have enough water to supply them beyond the next 21 months.”

Manyame Dam, which supplies Harare and satellite towns, has enough water supplies for the next 28 months. Similarly, Bulawayo’s Mzingwane Dam and the Nyamandlovu Aquifer can still supply water for the next 22 months. Mutare’s Odzani Dams and the Pungwe River have enough water for 12 months.

Gweru’s Gwenoro, Amapongokwe and Whitewaters dams have enough water to last the next 22 months, while Claw Dam for Kadoma can last for the next 30 months. For Kwekwe and Redcliff, there is enough water to last for the next two years in Sebakwe and Lower Zivagwe dams, while Chegutu’s Clifton, Dziva and Mupfure Weirs can supply the town for 20 months.

Gwanda and Beitbridge, whose sources are Lower Mujeni, Weir Water and Beitbridge 1 and 2, have 15 and eight months supplies. Masvingo’s Lake Mutirikwi, Rusape Dam, Woodlands and Turramura dams, and Muzhwi Dam for Mashava can supply water for the next 30 months.

“However, despite these healthy water levels in the dams, it must not be lost on as that water is a highly finite resource that needs to be used sparingly,” said Mrs Munyonga. “Zinwa, therefore, appeals to all water users to use water efficiently.

“Those intending to use water for purposes other than primary purposes from ZINWA managed dams are advised to approach their respective ZINWA catchment offices and sign water abstraction agreements as required by law.” Zinwa, Mrs Munyonga said, would continue monitoring the water situation across Zimbabwe. People found violating laws governing water usage will be prosecuted, she said.

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