Zambia will cut power supply due to low water levels at Lake Kariba

Hydropower contributes more than 75 percent of Zambia’s power generation.

Zambia will begin rationing electricity supplies to household consumers from December 15 following a major drop in water levels in Lake Kariba, endangering hydropower generation, the energy minister said.

Last week, officials in neighboring Zimbabwe – which co-owns the Kariba Dam with Zambia – said water levels were too low for power generation to continue there.

Kariba is the main source of electricity generation for both countries.

Water levels in the lake have dropped to 4.1 percent of usable storage capacity for Zambia’s Kariba North Bank Power Station and the Kariba South Bank on the Zimbabwean side of the lake, Zambia’s energy minister Peter Kapala said on Friday. against parliament.

“The low water level in Lake Kariba threatens the power generation of both the Kariba North Bank Hydropower Plant and the Kariba South Bank Hydropower Plant,” he said.

The water level in the lake has dropped due to reduced inflow from the Zambezi River and its tributaries and heavy use by power generation companies in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Hydropower contributes more than 75 percent of Zambia’s power generation.

Kapala said it was expected that if current water usage continued, the remaining water for power generation would not be enough for power generation as of mid-December.

To avoid a complete shutdown of the two plants, the Zambezi River Authority has told Zimbabwe to cut production to a maximum of 300 megawatts and Zambia to a maximum of 800 megawatts, he said.

“We expect this to translate into a tax management regime from December 15, 2022 of up to six hours per day.”

The Kariba North Bank power station has an installed capacity of 1080 megawatts, while the Kariba South Bank power station in Zimbabwe has a capacity of 1050 megawatts.

The two countries jointly manage the water in the lake through the Zambezi River Authority.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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