Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council has come up with water rationing limits and penalties for consumers using excess water as its reservoirs continue to be depleted.
In a statement yesterday, the Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube, said the water shedding programme remains suspended but consumers will pay for using excess water.
He said council has come up with an excess charge of $2,50 per kilolitre for residential flats as well as houses in low and high density suburbs.
“The Bulawayo City Council would like to advise consumers that the water shedding programme continues to be suspended until further notice. The city has been monitoring water consumption and service reservoir levels for the past weeks. The average water consumption level has been 143ml per day against a target of 130ml per day with a maximum of 173ml and a minimum of 129ml per day over the period,” said Mr Dube.
He said while water shedding remains suspended, residents are encouraged to conserve water.
“To promote conservation of water, the council has approved water rationing limits and penalties. For houses in the high density areas water allocation is 450 litres per day and they are allowed to use up to 13, 5 kilolitres per month.
“For houses in the low density suburbs, inclusive of cottages and servants’ quarters, the limit is 650 litres per day and 19,5 kilolitres per month,” said Mr Dube.
He said residential flats with individual meters should use not more than 400 litres per day.
For industries, Mr Dube added, the allowed usage is per arrangement and excess charged is $1,50 per kilolitre. The city council suspended the 48-hour water shedding programme two weeks ago after major rehabilitation works at Criterion Water Works and the normalisation of the water distribution system.
The local authority said the city was also losing water to evaporation due to high temperatures.
BCC once introduced a 72-hour water shedding programme in April when its reservoirs were critically low due to pumping problems.
The 72-hour schedule was later scrapped as the situation improved though daily consumption levels continued to rise above the 105 Mega Litres which the city can pump daily.
At one point, the local authority indefinitely shutdown water supplies to the entire city to stabilise water levels at its reservoirs, which was followed by a 48-hour schedule.
Bulawayo’s supply dams, just like many others in the country, did not receive significant inflows during the 2018/19 rainy season. — @pamelashumba1