THE Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) on Tuesday said 31% of Kariba water could be used for  power generation.

“More recently, on July 18, 2023, the recorded lake level was 479,87m which translates to 20 billion cubic meters (BCM) or 30,87% of usable storage meant for power generation by the two utilities — ZESCO Limited and Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) who operate the Kariba North Bank Power Station and Kariba South Power Station, respectively,” said ZRA chief executive Munyaradzi Munodawa in a statement.

“On the same date in 2022, the recorded lake level was 479,94m with 20,33 BCM of usable water or 31,37% live storage. The current level places the lake at 4,37 metres above the minimum operating level (MOL) of 475,50m.”

The authority allocated 40 BCM in September 2022 for power generation in 2023 at the Kariba Complex to be shared equally between Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and Zambia’s ZESCO Ltd.

The allocation was informed by projections from the Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF)-26 that was held in August 2022 and further reconfirmed by the downscaled positions of the meteorological agencies of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

They projected that SADC and Kariba catchment region were to experience normal to above normal rains for the 2022/23 rainfall season.

“The actual performance of the 2022/23 rainfall season for the lower Kariba catchment, however, turned out to be normal to below normal. Accordingly, through the first quarter hydrological analysis, the authority reduced the water allocation from 40 BCM to 30 BCM to be shared equally between ZESCO and ZPC at their Kariba stations.” — NewsDay


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