Zimbabwe Dam Water Levels Are Critically Low, Averaging 51% And Less

THE country’s average dam level remains at 51 percent and no dam has reached 100 percent capacity despite rains which are currently being experienced in some areas.In previous years, some of the country’s dams would be spilling this time of the year.

A Zimbabwe National Water Authority’s (Zinwa) report on the state of the country’s major dams shows that dams in Mazowe catchment are more than 87 percent full save for Mazowe Dam while most dams in Runde catchment are below 35 percent.

Mazowe Dam is 31,1 percent full, Masembura 92, Arcadia 97,9, Nyambuya 87,7 and Rufaro 97,9.

Most dams in the catchment are used for irrigation and water supply.

Manyame Dam, which is used for irrigation and water supply to Norton and Harare is 86 percent full, while Chivero used for the same purposes is 72 percent full.

Mazvikadei, which is used for irrigation and mining is 89,9 percent full.

Dam levels in the Runde catchment, most of which are used to irrigate sugar cane remain critical with Bangala Dam 16,7 percent full, Manjirenji 31, Mutirikwi 21,5 and Mbindangombe 74,3 percent.

In the Save catchment Osborne Dam, which is used for irrigation is 34,4 percent full, Siya 58,7, Wenimbi, 82,1 and Ruti 54.

In the Gwayi catchment, Mananda Dam which is used for irrigation and industry is 18 percent full, Exchange 59,2, Shangani 45,9, Lungwala 28,5 and Bubi-Lupane 58,1 percent.

In the Sanyati catchment, where most dams are used for irrigation and water supply, Suri Suri is 31,7 percent full, Sebakwe 62,3, Claw 85,9 and Gwenoro 48,39 full.

In the Mzingwane catchment, Upper Ncema is almost dry and is currently 1,8 percent full, Mtshabezi 71,8, Manyuchi 63,6, Insiza 59,1 and Zhovhe 70 percent full.

Irrigation and water supply are the main uses of water in the Manyame, Mazowe, Mzingwane, Sanyati and Runde catchments.

Most dams could fail to reach full capacity by the end of the rainy season following a prediction of below normal rainfall by weather experts.

Last month, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said existing dam water levels were an unfortunate situation as most of them did not have enough water to last the country till the next season.

“This paints a bleak picture as some towns and cities will have to resort to strict water management strategies. All in all, the country’s dams are on average 51 percent full at a time when we usually have dams spilling. These are chilling effects of the climate phenomenon, which hasnt only affected Zimbabwe, but the whole Sadc region,” she said. – Source: chronicle

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