Most dams over 90 percent full, Zinwa says 

Source: Most dams over 90 percent full, Zinwa says | The Herald November 16, 2017

Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter—
A number of dams across the country are over 90 percent full and there are possibilities of the water bodies overflowing during the rainy season, says the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (zinwa). The southern parts of the country, which is region two and three, will receive normal rains, with a bias towards below normal rainfall. However, as from December, January, February and March 2018, the country will receive normal to above normal rains.

According to zinwa, as at November 13, the national dams were 70 percent full on average. The current dam levels are 0,4 percent lower than the same period last year. There have not been much changes in the dam levels as a result of the recent rains, but experts have expressed fear that dams that are above 80 percent full may overflow from December onwards and this may lead to flooding and water borne diseases in some areas.

Manyame Catchment has the highest dam level average of 88,4 percent followed by Mazowe at 85,6 percent. The average for Mzingwane Catchment is 82,9 percent, Gwayi 62,2 percent, Runde 58 percent, Save 75,7 percent and Sanyati 77,8 percent full. Some of the dams that still have high water volumes are Nyambuya and Chibhero which are 100 percent full.

Mtshabezi dam is 98,5 percent full, Rufaro 96,7 percent, Rusape 91,1,Manyame, 90,1 percent, Mazvikadeyi 92,8 percent among others. A total of 13 dams are above 80 percent while nine are between 79 and 30,9 percent. Some dams still have volumes below 50 percent and most of them are for irrigation purposes. Bangala Dam in Runde catchment, which is used for irrigation is 30,9 percent full, while Mutirikwi which is mainly for irrigation and mining is 38,4 percent full.

There has been low irrigation activity and there are fears that the rains may come when the dams are still full and this may lead to overflows. Zimbabwe is expected to receive normal rains during the 2017/18 season. Region one is expected to receive normal rains, with a bias towards above normal rains during the first half of the rainy season (October to December).

zinwa reminded water users across the country to use water efficiently. “The authority also appeals to those wishing to draw irrigation water from the zinwa managed dams around the country to approach their respective zinwa catchment offices and enter into water abstraction agreements as required by the water act. “Any use of water for purposes other than primary purposes without the requisite water abstractions agreement constitutes a criminal offence and offenders are liable to prosecution,” the authority said.