By Lloyd Takawira
INFLOWS into Kariba Dam, have drastically improved owing to the incessant rains that have been witnessed over the past days .
The increase in water levels is largely credited to the heavy rains in the catchment area, brining relief to authorities that hydro power output from the dam will soon also improve.
Kariba Dam is Zimbabwe’s largest power station, with capacity to produce 1 050MW,
However due to the dwindling water levels , currently, it is generating a paltry 200MW due to critically low water levels following the drought experienced in the catchment area of the dam’s main feeder river.
Kariba Dam was designed to operate at about 485 metres (water level) when full, however its water level had dropped substantially to about 476 metres as at December 27, 2019 compared to 482 metres at the same time in December 2018
Data gathered by the Zambezi River Authority, which administers the dam and the Zambezi River on behalf of the Zimbabwean and Zambian governments, shows that the amount of water that passed through major water flow stations at Victoria Falls, Chavuma, Nana’s Farm and Ngonye has increased.
“Flows at Ngonye increased due to sporadic rainfall being recorded around the catchment, closing the week at 426 cubic metres per second on 27th December 2019, while last year’s flow on the same date was 295 cubic metres per second.
The Zambezi River flows through Nana’s Farm station have been increasing due to records of rainfall activities on the catchment, closing the week under review at 362 cubic metres per second on 27th December 2019.
The flow observed on the same date last year was 293 cubic metres per second,” ZRA said.
At Chavuma water flow steadily increased and closed the week under review at 213 cubic metres per second on the same date in December last year, while the flow observed at the same point last year on the same date was 127 cubic metres per second. The same pattern has been observed at Victoria Fall’s.