It is now in the public domain. The forecast for the next season has revealed that the country stands to be affected by El Nino, which will see Zimbabwe receiving normal to below normal rains.
This is not the first time for Zimbabwe to stand affected by this phenomenon, having pulled through a crippling drought in 2016. The 2016 drought was characterised by serious water stress for areas such as Marula, Esigodini, Mt Darwin, Mutoko, Mutawatawa, Kotwa, Nyamapanda, Mashava, Guinea Fowl and Nkayi. The country learnt its lessons and all water users should start conserving water ahead of the upcoming season.
It is now incumbent upon all Zimbabweans to start conserving water so that we can make the best out of the water stocks held in the dams and other water bodies across the country. This is one way individuals can play a role in mitigating the impact of the expected water stress.
Conserving water eases pressure on water utilities and water infrastructure since the conserved water becomes available for future use. At a time when the demand for treated water is outstripping supply in many towns, water conservation plays a critical role in ensuring that the limited available water is spread over more people than when people accessing the resource are not conserving water.
Water conservation is also beneficial to water users. Conserving water helps water users to reduce their monthly water bills. Most people are saddled with huge water bills simply because they use more water than they require. Such people can end up with affordable water bills through water conservation. The resources they use to pay for the excess water they use can be channelled towards other needs. Zinwa therefore shares the following water saving tips:
Water saving tips in the home
Using buckets when bathing instead of the shower
Repairing all leaking taps and toilet cisterns
Brushing teeth while using water from glasses or cups as opposed to using running taps
Using buckets to wash cars and not hosepipes
Doing laundry using dishes and buckets instead of using running water
Recycling and reusing water from swimming pools (the water may be used to flush the toilets, water flowers or to clean cars and driveways)
Growing drought resistant flowers and lawns
Water Conservation in the fields
Using water efficient irrigation methods such as drip irrigation
Repairing any leakages along the irrigation system
Irrigating in the mornings or later afternoons
Understanding the water requirements of crops at different levels of maturity
Avoiding irrigating during windy days
Growing drought resistant crops
Saving water remains a collective responsibility and every citizen should play his part.