The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) says water levels in the Kariba Dam remain low but are expected to improve within the first quarter of this year.

And the ZRA says it is currently preparing for the development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric scheme located between Kariba and the Victoria Falls, which will see the generation of an additional 2,400 megawatts for Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In response to a press query, ZRA Director of Water Resources and Environmental management Engineer Christopher Chisense stated that the decent rainfall experienced in recent weeks is expected to lead to improved water levels in the Kariba Dam within this quarter of 2020.

“As you will note from the lake updates, the lake level normally starts dropping during the month of October at the start of the rainy season and later rises during the first quarter of the following year. This is because the water received into the Zambezi River (especially from the upper catchment of the Kariba catchment, which contributes 70 per cent of the inflows into the Kariba) usually tends to start arriving and influence the lake level at Kariba around in the first quarter of following year. So, the lake level has followed the same trend during the start of the 2019/2020 season, which started in October, 2019, and the lake level is expected to start rising within the first quarter of 2020,” Chisense stated.

He stated that higher water levels would ultimately lead to increased power generation at the two plants in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“…The two utilities also have other power generation sources, which inform their detailed power generation plans for each of the two respective countries referred to above. However, with an expected rise in water levels at Kariba in the latter part of 2020, this would lead to an increase in the generation level at Kariba,” Chisense stated.

On the Batoka Gorge power project, he stated that the Authority is preparing to implement the strategic power project that would ease the electricity shortages in the two countries.

“Information on the issue of power generation along the Zambezi River shared between Zambia and Zimbabwe includes the fact that the Authority has been mandated by the two countries to develop additional sources of power. Currently, the Authority is making preparations for the development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme located between Kariba and the Victoria falls, which will see the generation of additional power for the two countries to the tune of 2,400MW,” stated Chisense.