THE City of Harare yesterday announced plans to ration water, citing shortages of water treatment chemicals.
Council’s environment management committee said water treatment and pumping capacity was currently depressed.
“The environment management committee has resolved that council rations water in the wake of suppressed water production. This is to ensure equitable distribution of water in the city,” the statement read in part.
It added: “Our local aluminium sulphate supplier is facing production challenges, while the delivery of the imported granular substitute has also been inconsistent, thereby affecting potable water production and subsequent equitable distribution to residents of Harare.
“On Sunday council received four loads of imported granular, aluminium sulphate with a further 16 loads still enroute from Beira to Harare. Production at Morton Jaffray Waterworks currently stands at 136 megalitres (ML) out of an available capacity of 450ML and Prince Edward 78.”
The city pumps the bulk of its water from the Morton Jaffray plant.
The Morton Jaffray treatment plant is producing less than half its installed capacity of 704ML of water per day against demand of 1 200ML leaving many residents without water.
Shortages of water treatment chemicals in Harare are endemic, resulting in periodic intermittent water cuts and posing a health hazard to the city’s residents.
Harare requires at least US$3 million a month to procure water treatment chemicals, mostly from South Africa.