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Lake Kariba water levels rise

by Staff reporter
30 Jan 2024 at 18:43hrs | Views
Lake Kariba water levels have been rising steadily from localised rains, doubling 2023 levels over the same period, raising hopes of increased water available for power generation.

With the Southern African region facing normal to below normal rainfall owing to El Nino related drought, hope is being pinned on high rainfall upstream of the Zambezi River.

Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) noted in an update that levels had stabilised following a recent dry spell after weeks of steady increase.

"The Lake level which has been rising, has stabilised due to reduced rainfall activity on the lake and immediate catchment, closing the period under review at 477.87m (16.49 percent usable storage) on 29th January 2024, compared to 476.51m (7.00 percent usable storage) recorded on the same date last year," said ZRA in a statement.

Inflows from the Upper Zambezi Catchment will reach Lake Kariba in April, with the second peak inflows coming between May and June.

Water levels fell to within 70 centimetres of the minimum operating levels for power generation.

Owing to reduced water levels which threatened a shutdown of the Kariba South and North power stations.

ZRA has reduced water allocation to the power utilities, Zimbabwe Power Company and Zesco of Zambia.

ZRA has allocated 16 Billion Cubic Meters (BCM) to Zimbabwean and Zambian power utilities.

ZRA chief executive Engineer Munyaradzi Munodawafa recently said the water allocation cap was informed by the Southern Africa Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF) forecast and satellite data simulations.

ZRA has advised power utilities to consider alternative sources of power to augment power generated at Kariba.

Source - The Herald
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