• On the same date in 2021, the Lake level was higher 31.59% of usable live storage.
• This has placed the lake 1.35 meters above the Minimum Operating Level.
• 40 Billion Cubic Meters of water to cater for power generation operations.
The Kariba Lake Level has been decreasing steadily on account of low inflows from the mainstream Zambezi River, according to Zambezi River Authority.
Zambezi River Authority reveals the recorded Kariba Lake Level is 476.85meters with 6.04 Billion Cubic Meters stored usable water or 9.32% of live storage as of today 1st November 2022.
Authority Chief Executive Engineer Munyaradzi Munodawafa said this recorded lake level of 476.85meters has placed the lake 1.35 meters above the Minimum Operating Level (MOL) of 475.50meters.
Engineer Munodawafa said on the same date in 2021, the Lake level was higher at 479.97meters with 20.47 Billion Cubic Meters or 31.59% of usable live storage, with the water being 4.47meters above the Minimum Operating Level.
He noted Lake levels are expected to start rising in the first quarter of 2023 if the flows recorded at Chavuma are sustained.
“The hydrological pattern during the last quarter of the year normally records reduced river flows owing to the close of a rainfall season pending the onset of an ensuing season” Engineer Munodawafa said.
“Accordingly, the Zambezi River flows recorded at Chavuma receded between June 2022 and end of October 2022. At the end of October 2022, the flows had receded to 60 m3/s. However, the catchment around Chavuma has now recorded some rainfall activity leading to a slight increase in the recorded flow.”
He indicated that the recorded flow on 1st November 2022 increased to 63m3/s however on 1st November 2021, the flows were slightly higher at 95 m3/s.
And Engineer Munodawafa stated that the Authority also undertook hydrological simulations using the normal to above normal rainfall projections for the upcoming 2022/2023 rainfall season and allocated 40 Billion Cubic Meters of water to cater for power generation operations at Kariba for 2023.
He explained the 40 Billion Cubic Meters water allocation will be shared equally between Zesco Limited and Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) for their power generation operations at Kariba North Bank Power Station and Kariba South Bank Power Station, respectively.
Engineer Munodawafa earlier stated that the 26th meeting of regional weather experts, the Southern Africa Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-26), took place at the end of August 2022 to provide the rainfall projections for the upcoming 2022/2023 rainfall season.
He said SARCOF-26 and the associated downscaled forecasts from the Meteorological Departments of the Republics of Zambia and Zimbabwe all predicted a normal to above normal 2022/2023 rainfall season outlook for the SADC Region including the Kariba catchment.
“The Authority will continue to monitor the hydrological outlook in the Kariba catchment and where necessary, make adjustments to this water allocation to sustain reservoir operations at Kariba” he assured.