Just 1% usable water left in Kariba Dam

via Just 1% usable water left in Kariba Dam – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 13, 2015

Water levels at Kariba Dam have dropped to alarming levels, with the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) indicating that if it does not rain anytime soon power generation will be suspended.


Statistics from ZRA indicate that the water levels in the dam are just three metres shy of the point of no usage, as the dam cannot operate below 475,50m. Currently it is at 478,51m.

Water levels at Kariba dropped to 40% of capacity by mid-July and now have declined to 21% with less than 1% left for usage.

The decline, according to ZRA, was due to intensified evaporation in the hot months and late onset of the rainy season.

“The lake levels continued dropping during the week under review [November 1-7]. This is a result of low lake inflows coupled with high turbine outflows. The lake levels closed the week at 478,51m on November 7, which is 5,15m lower than the level recorded last year on the same date,” read a statement by ZRA.

“The Kariba Lake was created and designed to operate between levels 475,50m and 488,50m with 0,70m freeboard at all times.”
The ZRA statement indicated that only three metres are left to sustain the country till meaningful rains fall.

Although the authority did not give an interpretation of the statistics, the latest drop has seen the dam’s capacity going down to 21% compared to 60% recorded last year during the same period.

Zimbabwe, which requires up to 2 200 megawatts (MW) of electricity per day, is currently producing about 895MW inclusive of imports and production from Hwange Thermal Station, less than half of national demand, has seen many parts of the country spending up to 18 hours a day without electricity and crippling industry.

Kariba and Hwange account for 95% of Zimbabwe’s daily power output and the imminent shutdown of Kariba — if they are no rains soon — could worsen the dire situation for the country, which is already in the throes of a debilitating economic crisis that is seeing many survive on vending.


  • comment-avatar
    Doris 7 years ago

    Unpack your loincloths chaps…..we are returning to 1895. Bob sure knows how to eliminate colonialism! Do you think he’ll flog the Roller?

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    C Frizell 7 years ago

    Even if it rains right now (and its about the right time) it won’t help for at least a few months. It takes about 6 weeks for rain in the catchment area (Barotseland, Zambia) to get to Kariba

  • comment-avatar

    Now even the climate its self is playing against our well being, good bye zim. may the last one please close the door and switch of the light..eeh i mean blow out the candle, or just leave it like that and go, it does not matter anymore!

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