Dearly B. Loved
OnToplist is optimized by SEO
Add blog to our blog directory.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Dear Resident

You might or might not know that many boreholes in Harare have either run dry completely or will only pump for short periods of time. This is undoubtedly a result of so many holes being drilled over the past few years as well as the irresponsible usage of borehole water.

The water table has fallen to disastrous levels and is still falling. Ultimately all boreholes will either run dry completely or only produce water for short periods of time with a long recovery period before the flow is resumed.

The water table is replenished only by rainfall and this replenishment commences from the level of the water table at the onset of the rains. If one assumes continual normal rainy seasons (and this is a big assumption) and a continuously falling water table due to excessive offtake, even the replenished level will fall from year to year. If evidence is required that the table is falling continuously consider this. My borehole ran dry for the first time in November 2008. In 2009 it happened in October, 20010 September and 2011 August. Before 2008 it was a prolific borehole.

In simple terms demand is ever increasing and supply remains static. Because of this we all need to take a new look at how we use borehole water.

Many people are still maintaining an emerald green lawn despite this situation, some are even keeping their verges green. This is a luxury that none of us can afford. Watering of lawns and verges accounts for approximately 90% of borehole water usage. For those fortunate enough to still have sufficient water to keep lawns and gardens green, and who utilize that capacity, it is only a matter of time before your boreholes start to deliver water sporadically or not at all. Remember, those of us with marginal or dry boreholes are paying the price for your profligate use of this precious commodity. None of us get municipal water with any regularity (if at all) and all of us rely on our boreholes or bought water for our domestic requirements,
If evidence of the effect that watering of lawns has on the water table is required, consider this. At midnight (when nobody is irrigating their lawn) my borehole will pump water continuously for 10 minutes. At midday when the sprays are out in force my borehole will produce water for 3 minutes.

As a community, the time has come to take concerted action to conserve this precious resource. With concerted action the water table can recover. I am presenting a short list of suggestions which I hope you will all follow.

(1) Stop watering your lawn and verges immediately. If you do nothing else, do this. Remember watering lawns and verges is 90% of the problem.

(2) Consider changing your lawn grass from the broad bladed (Durban, Buffalo, Kikuyu) water thirsty grasses to a narrow bladed evergreen. This will go brown in winter and recover instantly at the onset of the rains. This is after all the natural cycle in Africa.

(3) Water your vegetable garden and flower beds from a watering can.

(4) Wash your car from a bucket.

I hope you will give this your consideration and act upon it. For those who have already made this decision, well done and thank you. Please help to spread this message. Once the majority have accepted the necessity of this course of action the rest will follow. The water table can recover but only if everyone plays their part.

I would appreciate any feedback on this. Please email me on

Edward Byrne

No comments:

Post a Comment