Harare City Council needs to address water losses which are accounting for 65 percent of the local authority's treated water before embarking on other big dam projects, Zimbabwe Multi Donor Trust Fund manager Mr Emmanuel Nzabanita has said.
Speaking at the Harare Water Strategic Plan and Non-Revenue Water Project outcome workshop Mr Nzabanita said Harare should urgently address its water losses.
"I am very happy with this workshop because it will assist Harare in dealing with non-revenue water.
"I am sure it is a concern for us to ensure that water loss is reduced to acceptable levels. Harare should stop being one of the biggest losers of water given the fact there is shortage of supply," he said.
"In the short-term, we would like to see action being done and planning for other dams but the donors will ask you first before we can embark on these huge other dams what you are doing to your water losses. Sixty-five percent is too much."
Mr Martin Nijsse of Vitens Evides International said the city needs to improve its speed and quality of repairs as well as have active leak detection and repairs.
"The city should also carry out domestic water meter replacement program, legalising illegal consumption, tariff setting and policies, cash collection modalities and replace (obsolete) primary, secondary and tertiary networks," he said.
He said also need to restore 42 supply zones, reservoirs, pump stations and interconnecting lines as well as find new resources and water treatment capacity
Acting town clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango said the city plans to improve work culture as well as introduce training and development.
"We intend to introduce disruptive job rotation and job enrichment policies, succession planning, increase chemical stocks to avoid water quality deterioration and improve in chemical dosing and rethinking of water treatment schemes to reduce chemical/energy consumption," he said.
He said the city will also strengthen water quality testing (stocks, sampling, certification), operational investments in reservoir cleaning, periscopes, pump stations and come up with water resource protection programmes.
Eng Chisango said Harare will also come up with a waste water master plan and consecutive investments as well as study water mining for Lake Chivero.
Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni said the growth of the Harare metropolitan requires a new paradigm to match and sustain exponential demand for service.
"The strategy that I expect from Harare Water seeks to evolve a focused, coordinated, systematic and business oriented approach that is underpinned by reliable, functional and world class plant and equipment which seeks to deliver satisfactory services that promote sustainable livelihoods and enhance industrial growth and development of a rapidly urbanised metropol that is able to attract investment and business to mainstream the city's," he said.