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Lake Kariba water levels rise by 255%

by Staff reporter
08 Apr 2021 at 16:36hrs | Views
Water in Lake Kariba has risen by 25 percent over the past month from a level of 480.76m recorded in March this year to a lake level of 481.97 meters further bolstering hopes for secure energy supplies for Zimbabwe and Zambia.

A latest update from the Zambezi River Authority showed that the lake levels at Kariba have continued rising steadily due to increased inflows into Lake Kariba coming in from the Kariba upper and lower catchment areas.

"From the last update provided on 3rd March 2021, the lake levels increased by a total of 1.21 meters, increasing from the level of 480.76m recorded on 3rd March 2021 and with an associated live storage of 24.30 BCM, to a lake level of 481.97 meters with a live storage of 30.30 billion cubic metres (BCM) recorded on 7th April 2021. This represents a 25% increase in live storage (usable water) over a period of 37 days," the Authority said.

The lake level recorded on 7th April 2021 of 481.97 meters has placed the lake level at 6.47 meters above the Minimum Operating Level (MOL) of 475.50m.

This places the lake water levels at 6.53 meters below the full supply level of 488.50 meters.

"Last year on the same date (7th April 2020), the Lake level was lower at 478.25m with 12.40 BCM of usable water or 19.17% live storage," the Authority said.

"This had placed the lake water levels at only 2.7m above the Minimum Operating Level of 475.5m and 10.25m below the full supply level of 488.50m."

In 2019, Lake Kariba, a major source of water for energy generation, domestic consumption, fisheries and wildlife, stood at its lowest level since at least 1996.

Water levels on Lake Kariba fell sharply after southern Africa endured its worst drought in nearly four decades in the previous season.

Straddling the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, Lake Kariba is 223 kilometres long and stretches 40 kilometres across at its widest point.

Source - the herald