Urban councils must invest in climate-resilient water infrastructure: Report

Urban councils in Zimbabwe have been encouraged to invest in climate-resilient water infrastructure and water recycling initiatives to mitigate water shortages.

This recommendation was highlighted in the latest Zimbabwe Livelihoods Assessment Committee (ZimLAC) report.

The report noted that most urban areas are facing immense water challenges, exacerbated by the El Niño-induced drought. In Bulawayo, residents are enduring a 120-hour water-shedding schedule as the city struggles with a water crisis.

The report recommended collaborations between local authorities and other stakeholders to develop sustainable mechanisms for future water security.

“The impact of climate change on the availability of water in urban areas is a complex challenge that requires holistic and innovative solutions. By implementing integrated water management strategies that prioritize water conservation, infrastructure resilience, sustainable practices, and effective governance, urban areas can enhance their water security in the face of a changing climate,” the report stated.

“Collaboration between governments, communities, businesses, and other stakeholders is essential to address the intricate water challenges posed by climate change and ensure a resilient and sustainable water future for urban areas.”

The report further suggested that to mitigate the impact of climate change on water availability in urban areas, it is crucial to implement integrated and adaptive water management strategies.

“These strategies should include measures to enhance water conservation, improve the resilience of water infrastructure, promote sustainable water use practices, and strengthen water governance mechanisms. Water conservation efforts, such as promoting efficient irrigation techniques, reducing leakage in distribution systems, and encouraging water-saving behaviors among residents, can help alleviate water scarcity in urban areas,” the report noted.

“Investing in climate-resilient water infrastructure, such as green infrastructure projects, decentralized water treatment systems, and water recycling initiatives, can enhance urban water supply reliability and reduce vulnerability to extreme weather events. Much more attention needs to be given to the vast areas where untreated or only partially treated, diluted, or even raw wastewater is already used informally for reuse. Treated wastewater can play a key role in meeting the water needs of people in urban areas.”

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