BY OBERT SIAMILANDU
THE Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has increased the amount of water allocated to both Zimbabwe and Zambia for power generation at Kariba by three billion cubic meters (3BCM).
The increase follows an announcement made on June, 23, 2021 where Zesco Limited and Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) were jointly granted an additional 12 billion cubic meters (12BCM) of water.
Consequently, the 2021 allocation increased from the initial combined allocation of 30BCM granted at the commencement of 2021 to 42BCM.
In a statement, ZRA chief executive Munyaradzi Munodawafa said: “The authority’s decision to further increase the 2021 water allocation is premised on the provisions of the ZRA Acts which provide for the regulation of the Kariba reservoir in liaison with the two power generation utilities.
“’The provisions of the ZRA Acts have subsequently been operationalised under a tripartite water purchase agreement (WPA) signed between the two utilities and the authority.
The WPA made provision for quarterly reviews of the hydrological outlook at Kariba Dam to inform on the continued availability of water and the need, if any, for adjustments in the amount allocated for power generation.
The quarterly reviews may result in a downward or upward adjustment in the allocation made to Kariba north and south bank power stations for their respective generation operations.
Munodawafa added: “Accordingly, the 3BCM increase in water allocation was informed by hydrological simulations carried out by the authority that considered the obtaining stored usable water and power generation levels at the two Kariba power stations, as well as the normal to above normal rainfall projections made by the respective meteorological departments of Zambia and Zimbabwe for the 2021/2022 season.
“The authority will continue to closely monitor the hydrological outlook at Kariba and make necessary adjustments, where necessary, to ensure the sustainable operation of the Kariba reservoir going into the year 2022.”