AN increase in the water allocated from the Zambezi River to both Zambia and Zimbabwe is poised to increase power generation in the two neighboring countries.
The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) confirmed the increased allocation after marginal inflows to the Kariba Dam in the mighty river during the rainy season.
The Zambia Electricity Supply Commission (ZESCO) and Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) had their allocations increased by 4 billion cubic metres.
Eng. Munyaradzi Munodawafa, the ZRA Chief Executive Officer, confirmed the upward review in a statement.
ZRA is the management utility of the institution shared between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“Following a review of the hydro-logical outlook at Kariba undertaken at the end of the second quarter of 2020, the Authority has since increased water allocation for power generation operations at Kariba by four billion cubic meters (4BCM),” Munodawafa stated.
“As per agreed operational framework for Kariba, the additional water allocation will be shared equally between ZPC and ZESCO for their respective power generation operations at Kariba. This is an upward revision of the combined water allocation for the year 2020 from 23BCM to 27BCM.”
At peak, Kariba Dam can hold up to 65 billion cubic metres of water.
As of Wednesday last week, levels had receded to 481,metres, which is 5,71m above the minimum operating level of 475,50m.
The increase comes after a slight increase in inflows at despite a late start to the rainfall season.
The season commenced in January, later than the customary November, but saw major inflows in the first quarter.
The increased allocation is a major boost, particularly to Zimbabwe, given its long running power challenges.