Despite the apparent stabilisation of water supply to greater Gaborone areas, Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) authorities have warned that the outlook is not promising. WUC spokesperson Matida Mmipi said Gaborone Dam has failed to collect any reasonable water so far. “We still classify Gaborone dam as failed after it failed to reach at least five (5) percent,” said Mmipi. According to Mmipi, the corporation can only start pumping and treating water from Gaborone Dam when the water levels are at or exceed five percent. According to Mmipi, as it is the water levels at the now dried up dam currently stand at 1.8 percent, a few notches up from where they were last year.
Mmipi, however, acknowledged the fact that the corporation has so far managed to meet water demands in the greater Gaborone. She attributed this development to the fact that during the festive season WUC was given a chance to recover from the huge water supply deficit by a decrease in demand which was due to people leaving the Greater Gaborone to other places. “A decrease in demand meant that we could now build storage, hence moving away from the treat and drink arrangement that was before,” she said. Another positive, according to Mmipi, is the fact that December rainfall managed to fill Bokaa dam up to 50 percent from a paltry 26.7 percent last year.
This development, she said, meant that the area now has an extra 16 million litres a day from the dam. Though WUC still cannot meet the 125 million litres a day demanded by the greater Gaborone, Mmipi says with the supply from Bokaa Dam they are now supplying the area with 107 million litres a day a notable increase from what they could afford last year. She said they will continue to manage water demand especially with the anticipated increase in demand after schools re-opened. Factories which are also some of the biggest users are also re-opening and Mmipi said they continue to see progress and will assess the situation as time goes on. The corporation is likely to resume water rationing if the situation worsens, which will either mean decreasing water pressure or alternating shutdown of supply from place to place at different times.
Last year the Greater Gaborone area’s average demand surpassed supply by 32.9 million litres a day. Even with rationing, the demand surpassed supply by 18.2 million litres a day and due to this, the area experienced erratic low pressure to no water supply. Mmipi, however, implored residents of the Greater Gaborone to continue using water sparingly, saying water conservation should be a way of life by now.