The water level in the Kariba Dam has risen above 15 percentage points to 25,64 per cent of the usable water, the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has revealed.
At about the same time last year, the lake contained just 9,12 per cent of usable or live water. The water level is rising at a time it should be falling, based on experiences from previous years.
Kariba Dam produces more than half of Zimbabwe’s electricity and a rise in its water level raises the prospects for improved power supply in the foreseeable future.
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ZRA chief executive officer Engineer Munyaradzi Munodawafa, said on Tuesday from December 22, 2020, to January 18, 2021, the lake levels have increased by a total of 0,40 metres or 0,08 per cent.
This has pushed overall lake levels to 3,2 metres above the Minimum Operating Level (MOL) of 475,5m on January 18, 2021. Munodawafa added:
This 3,2 metres above the MOL translates to 14,55 billion cubic metres (BCM) of usable water storage currently in the
It is encouraging to note that the lake level, which should generally be in a decreasing trend at this time of the year, has continued to record a steady rise due to increased rainfall activity on and around the lake, leading to a lake level of 478,71m with 22,45 per cent live/usable storage on January 18, 2021.
Munodawafa said ZRA, which manages water resources in the Zambezi River on behalf of Zimbabwe and Zambia, will maintain the 30 BCM of water allocated for power generation operations at Kariba for the year 2021.
This is based on weather forecasts of normal to above-normal rains for the ongoing 2020/2021 rainfall season.
The Kariba South Power station generates 1 050MW after it was expanded from a 750MW plant.