BULAWAYO City Council water supply dams last surpassed the current combined 76,28% capacity 15 years ago, it has been established.
The 92,23% capacity was reached when the BCC was drawing water from Khami Dam which has since been decommissioned.
“The combined dam volumes surpassed the total reached 15 years ago in March 2000 when four dams; Insiza, Lower Ncema, Umzingwane and Upper Ncema were over 100% while Inyankuni was at 65,12%.
“By then Khami Dam was part of our daily statistics and the above five dams with Khami included totalled 92,23%,” council’s senior public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu said.
Figures obtained by Southern Eye indicate that Insiza Mayfair last reached full capacity in March 2000, 2001, 2008 and 2011, 2014 while Lower Ncema, Upper Ncema and Umzingwane reached their full peak in March 2000.
However, in the last 15 years, Inyankuni’s highest capacity of 65,12% was attained in March 2000.
Inkankuni is not likely to be filled to capacity despite the record rainfall due to a small catchment area and siltation. Inyankuni is the second largest of the council’s dams. It has a design capacity of 80 781 000 cubic metres.
With significant inflows recorded, council last week resolved to suspend water shedding while water rationing remained in force and both are subject to review at the end of the rainy season.
Water rationing limits in low density areas is still pegged at 350 litres per day, high density (300 litres per day), cottages (200 litres per day) and residential flats with individual meters limit is 300 litres.
Last year, council said it was is in the process of resuscitating water treatment plants at Khami Dam as it moves to treat the sewage water for domestic purposes outside drinking.
Khami Dam is almost full to capacity largely because it receives water deposits from sewer and industrial waste.
Former Water minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo once torched a storm for suggesting that Khami water be recycled and used for drinking.
The idea to recycle water from Khami Dam, which was decommissioned in 1988, was first mooted by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority in 2007.
It was promptly shot down by a number of Bulawayo politicians, including Zanu PF member Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and Dumiso Dabengwa.