The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has reduced water allocated for power generation at Kariba Hydropower Station due to falling water levels in the lake shared by Zimbabwe and Zambia. The reduction in water allocation means power generation for both Kariba North and South will be reduced from the current 1476 MW to 890 MW. ZRA also said that all spilling activity has been suspended for this year.
ZRA said in a statement: “Owing to the below normal rain fall recorded to date, the inflows into the lake have been below average, leading to the lake level at Kariba dropping by over three metres from October 2018 to February 2019. The lake level is currently 5 metres above the minimum operating level, when it should be 8 metres above the minimum operating level at this time of the year. The meteorological projections are that most of the Kariba catchment is likely to continue experiencing below normal rains for the remainder of the 2018/19 rainfall season.”
Meanwhile, the Joint Operations Technical Committee in a Weekly Hydrological Bulletin for March 6 said that flows into the Zambezi River have continued to rise, though at a reduced pace due to reduced rainfall in the basin. The Technical Committee is made up of ARA Zambezi (Mozambique), HidroElectrica de Cahora Bassa (Mozambique), Water Resources Management Authority (Zambia), ZRA, Zimbabwe National Water Authority and the Zimbabwe Power Company. The Committee further noted that inflows into Kariba and Kafue Gorge Upper Reservoirs are lower than the outflows, and the reservoir storage is decreasing.