Kariba floodgates won’t be opened this year

Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has ruled out opening the Kariba Dam floodgates this year amid indications that water levels were seven metres below the point where spilling can be triggered.

Floodgates were last opened in March 2013 to create room for an expected flood later that year.

Water levels have increased to 481,83 metres (about 45,61 percent above the minimum operating level for power generation) this morning compared to around 15 percent on the same day last year.

ZRA director responsible for water resources and environmental management Engineer Christopher Chisense said the lake is yet to fully recover from the 2015/16 drought.

“We have a framework guiding the issue of spilling. The flood control rule curve informs on the need for spilling to create room for the incoming floods,” said

“Currently, the lake is seven metres below the point under the rule curve where spilling can be triggered. We are way below that point in terms of the rule curve.”

The lake levels were about two metres above the minimum operating levels for power generation last year, representing about 10 billion cubic metres of water.

Source – the herald