Kariba Dam power generation cut in half as water levels dip

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By Staff Reporter

POWER generation at Kariba Dam has been reduced in half as water levels continue to fall, authorities confirmed Monday.

The dam sits on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and supplies power to both countries.

According to Reuters news agency, the two countries have agreed to cut power generation at the dam by half.

A spokesperson for Zambia’s power utility said both sides had been restricted to 500 megawatts (MW) each from about 1,000 MW.

“The Zambezi River Authority gave us an annual allocation of 19 billion cubic metres of water and this means we can only generate up to 500 megawatts each,” said the spokesman, referring to the jointly owned firm which manages the Zambezi River.

A joint technical committee bulletin issued on February 19 by companies including power utilities in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique indicated that water levels in the Kariba Dam had dropped to 43 percent of its capacity.

“As the inflows into the Kariba and Kafue Gorge upper reservoirs are lower than the outflows, the reservoirs’ storage is decreasing,” the bulletin said.