BY STAFF WRITER
THE Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) yesterday said the whole of the Southern African Development Community region and the Kariba Catchment, in particular, was poised to receive normal to above normal rainfall from October to December 2020 as well as during the first quarter of 2021.
In a statement yesterday, the ZRA chief executive Munyaradzi Munodawafa said to date its gauging stations had recorded a steady increase in flows.
“The authority continues to gather and record daily water level readings at its 14 gauging stations located across the Kariba Catchment area, with the recorded hydrological data utilised in informing reservoir operations at Kariba,” Munodawafa said in a statement.
“Zambezi River flows at Chavuma have now shown an upward trend due to sustained rainfall activity in the catchment, closing the period under review at three hundred and eighty-four cubic metres per second on December 22, while the flow recorded on the same date last year was lower at two hundred and seven cubic metres per second,” the statement added.
ZRA said lake levels at Kariba, which should generally be decreasing at this time of the year, have recorded a steady rise due to increased rainfall activity on and around the lake.
“The lake level on December 22, 2020 was therefore, 2,81 metres above the minimum operating level of 475,50 metres.
“Following the normal to above normal rainfall projections made for the 2020/21 rainfall season by both local and regional weather experts and authorities, ZRA will maintain the 30 BCM of water for power generation operations at Kariba for the year 2021 as announced in the previous statement of November 6, 2020. This will be shared equally between Kariba North Bank Power Station and Kariba South Bank Power Station.”
Munodawafa said the authority would continue to monitor the hydrological outlook of the Kariba Catchment and make necessary adjustments in the reservoir operations to ensure continued availability of water for power generation operations at Kariba.
Zimbabwe and Zambia rely on Kariba Dam, which is the world’s biggest man-made reservoir for the two countries’ electricity supplies.
However, last year the two countries were forced to cut power generation as the water levels had fallen drastically.