Mary Muradzikwa Herald Reporter
The national dam levels have declined to an average 75,5 percent due to rising temperatures, but the water is still sufficient to meet the domestic and irrigation requirements, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) said last week.
ZINWA corporate communications manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said the dam levels had declined by 0,31 percent since September 17.
She said the decline was due to rising temperatures, which caused some rivers to stop flowing while irrigation activities had increased.
“Dam levels are now receding due to the rising temperatures,” said Mrs Munyonga. “The stoppage of river flows in many parts of the country and the intensification of irrigation activity around the country also explains the steady decline in dam levels.”
Mrs Munyonga said while there had been a decline in the dam levels, the water was still sufficient enough to meet irrigation and domestic requirements.
“Despite this decline, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) wishes to assure the nation that the water in the dams is sufficient to meet the country’s domestic and irrigation requirements,” she said.
Mrs Munyonga said Mazowe Catchment had the highest dam level of 92,1 percent, while Gwayi catchment recorded the lowest levels of 63,8 percent.
“Mazowe Catchment has the highest dam level of 92,1 percent followed by Manyame Catchment at 91,4 percent, Save Catchment 82,5 percent, Runde Catchment 67,1 percent, Sanyati Catchment 83,6 percent, Mzingwane’s 77,7 percent and Gwayi recording the lowest average of 63,8 percent,” she said.
“The rise in temperatures triggers (high) water demand and ZINWA continues to appeal to water users to conserve the resource in their respective uses, especially with the recent forecast of the El Nino phenomenon in the coming rainy season.
“Therefore, the need for water conservation cannot be over- emphasised.”
Mrs Munyonga encouraged all water users to sign water abstraction agreements that allow them to legally access water in dams.
She warned that any use of raw water without legal documents was a criminal offence in terms of Section 118 of the Water Act. “Prospective raw water users are therefore encouraged to approach their nearest ZINWA Catchment offices and sign water abstraction agreements that allow them to legally access water in ZINWA-managed dams as prescribed by the law,” she said.
“Any use of water without the mandatory legal documentation constitutes a criminal offence in terms of Section 118 of the Water Act and offenders are liable to criminal prosecution.”