Harare to limit drinking water

HARARE residents are likely to endure a tight water rationing regime as the city council is planning on installing water inflow limiters to cut households’ consumption by half.The local authority’s acting water director Engineer Hosiah Chisango said this scheme will be implemented in 2017 to conserve water following concerns that residents are “overusing water.” According to the city council, an average family of six in the city’s high density suburbs is using between 800 and 850 litres of water per day — a figure which is high when compared to other users in the region.

Council wants residents to consume around 400 litres per day.  Eng Chisango said, “In the long run we are considering installing flow limiters in all households and this will go a long way in conserving water. For instance, if the water limit for a particular area is 300 per day, once a household reaches that limit it cuts off and water supplies continue the following day. “An average family in Zimbabwe uses about 850 litres per day and some in the low density suburbs can use even 1 500 litres per day and we think we can reduce that, even by half.

“We are working on replacing pipes so as to reduce water leakages. Africa Development Bank is funding the programme and currently they are processing tenders so that contractors can begin pipe replacement in November.”

Harare recently introduced a rationing schedule which has seen some residential suburbs going for five days without water.
According to the latest weekly report released by Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) last week, Harava and Seke Dams were at 0 percent while Chivero was at 48 percent and Manyame had 78 percent water.  Lake Chivero and Manyame can last 18 months under the current rationing schedule.

Harare has already introduced pre-paid water meters which are meant to conserve water consumption through consumer self-management.  However, residents and human rights organisations have criticised the water pre-paid meters, citing rights to accessing water.

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