ZRA chief executive officer Munyaradzi Munodawafa said the authority had allocated four billion cubic metres more to the 23 billion cubic metres that had initially been released to serve the Kariba North and South Power Stations.
Kariba power station is the country’s largest supplier of electricity.
“Following the close of the 2019/2020 rainfall season in April, the Kariba catchment has since stopped registering any rainfall activity accordingly flows of the Zambezi River and its tributaries have receded and the downward trend in river flows will continue until the commencement of the new 2020/2021 rainfall season,” Munodawafa said in a media briefing at the weekend.
“Following the arrival of the upper Kariba catchment peak flood waters at Kariba in June and due to increased demand for electricity, the authority effected a four billion cubic metres upward revision in the 2020 water allocation made for power generation operations at Kariba to be shared equally between the North bank and South bank power station.”
Lake Kariba has a capacity of 180, 6 billion cubic metres of water and of that, 65 billion cubic metres can be used for power generation.
According to ZRA, the Zambezi River flow recorded at the Chavuma Station has continued to recede as per historical trend, as seen from the last highest peak flow attained of 5 825 cubic metres recorded on February 25 to a river flow of 201 cubic meters per second on August 13.
The recorded flow on August 13 was 151 percent higher than the flow of 80 cubic meters recorded last year on the same date.
At the Victoria Falls station, Zambezi River flows were equally receding from the last highest peak river flow of 4 568 cubic meters per second recorded on May 3 to a river flow of 633 cubic meters per second recorded on August 13. This is 72 percent higher than recordings made last year on the same date and 28 percent higher than the long term average flow.
“The lake level has steadily continued to recede after attaining a peak level this year of 481,3 metres on June 30 with 26,94 billion cubic metres of stored usable water which is 41, 57 percent life storage,” he added.
“The authority will 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 at Kariba.”