Zimbabwe has enough water in its reservoirs to guarantee a constant supply for human and animal consumption, as well as for irrigation in the 2018-19 summer cropping season.
Weather experts forecast El Nino-induced average to below average rainfall this season.
Government has since the end of last year prioritised irrigation development — including importation of more than 80 centre pivots — as part of its food security strategy, and this has been given a fillip by good rains over the past two years.
According to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, the average dam level is 78,2 percent of capacity, sufficient to see the country through to at least the end of 2019.
In a statement, the water utility’s corporate communications and marketing manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said, “Zinwa wishes to assure the nation that the water in the dams is sufficient to meet the country’s domestic and irrigation requirements.
“As at August 27, 2018, the national dam level average was 78.2 percent, marking a 0, 44 percent drop since August 20, 2018.
“Mazowe Catchment has the highest dam level of 95,5 percent followed by Manyame Catchment at 93,4 percent, Save Catchment 85,8 percent, Runde Catchment 69,6 percent, Sanyati Catchment 87,2 percent, Mzingwane 80,4 percent and Gwayi recording the lowest average of 68,5 percent.”
Mrs Munyonga urged farmers using irrigation to regularise water use with the authority.
“Raw water users are 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,” said Mrs Munyonga.
“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.”
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