The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) has devised a system to monitor water being drawn from water bodies by farmers to curb illegal use of the liquid.
ZINWA corporate communications and marketing manager Marjorie Munyonga stated that starting this winter cropping season, the authority will be using the Geographical Information System (GIS) to monitor raw water abstractions along river channels and irrigation activities at farms.
She said ZINWA has already gathered the coordinates for the farms with agreements that will make it possible to monitor using the new system.
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This will be done to curb illegal water abstractions and ensuring that holders of water abstraction agreements comply with the conditions contained in their agreements. Said Munyonga:
Through the new system; every three days, ZINWA downloads satellite images that show irrigation activities and the actual hectarage being irrigated, which allows the authority to note any inconsistencies between what is on the ground and what is on the agreements.
The satellite images also show ZINWA where there is irrigation activity but without water abstraction agreements, which will then prompt the Authority to investigate the source of water for the irrigators.
Munyonga said in terms of Statutory Instrument 206 of 2001, all individuals and entities intending to use or using raw water from ZINWA owned and managed dams for purposes other than primary purposes were required to enter into water abstraction agreements with ZINWA.