National dam water levels averaging 58% – Zinwa
By Shawn Mushamba
Harare, (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) said on Wednesday the country’s average dam levels stood at 58 percent as at September 2, a decline of 18.6 percentage points compared with the same period last year.
Formed in the year 2000, the authority’s mandate is to manage water for the State and to ensure sustainable development and equitable distribution of the country’s water resources to all Zimbabweans at an affordable price.
In its weekly update, Zinwa said “water levels in most dams continue on a declining trend. This is attributable to rising temperatures and the absence of any inflows into the dams.”
“Continued draw downs by irrigators and local authorities also explain the decline.”
In the week, Mazowe Dam, at 84.8 percent had the highest levels, followed by Mazvikadei 84.4 percent and Manyame Dam is 84.3 percent respectively.
Dams with some of the lowest water levels included the almost dry Upper Ncema at 3.1 percent, Gwenoro which supplies Gweru which is at 19.9 percent and Bangala at 18.1 percent.
“Rising temperatures usually bring a corresponding rise in water usage,” Zinwa said, urging all water users to use the “available water sparingly and efficiently.”
Zimbabwe was last year hit by a drought, recording lower than usual rainfall, which affected water levels in most water sources.
The crisis also hit the country’s source of hydro-power, Kariba Dam, estimated to be carrying below 20 percent of water usable for generation as of this Monday compared to over 80 percent during the comparable period last year.
Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Services Department is this week expected to issue the weather forecast for the 2019/2020 rainy season which experts say is pointing to another drought season.