ZRA increases water allocation for power generation at Kariba

Staff Reporter

The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has announced that it has revised the volume of water allocated for power generation operations at Kariba for 2021 upwards by three billion cubic meters (3 BCM), a development which is likely going to easy load-shedding in the country.

In a Press Statement today, the ZRA revealed that its decision to further increase the 2021 water allocation is premised on the provisions of the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) Act, which provide for the regulation of the Kariba Reservoir in liaison with the two power generation utilities.

“This increase in water allocation is further to the announcement made on 23rd June 2021, wherein ZESCO Limited (ZESCO) and Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), were jointly granted an additional 12 billion cubic meters (12BCM) of water. Consequently, the 2021 allocation increased from the initial combined allocation of 30BCM granted at the commencement of 2021 to 42 BCM. As a result of this decision, the two utilities have effectively been allocated a combined total of 45 BCM of water for 2021, with each utility expected to utilise a total of 22.5BCM for its respective power generation operations at Kariba for the year,” reads part of the statement.

The Authority says the provisions of the ZRA Act has subsequently been operationalised under a tripartite Water Purchase Agreement (WPA) signed between the two utilities and the Authority.

“The WPA made provision for quarterly reviews of the hydrological outlook at Kariba to inform on the continued availability of water and the need, if any, for adjustments in the amount allocated for power generation at Kariba. The quarterly reviews may result in a downward or upward adjustment in the allocation made to Kariba North and South Bank Power Stations for their respective generation operations,” further reads the Statement.

The Authority went on to say that it will continue to closely monitor the hydrological outlook at Kariba and make necessary adjustments, where necessary, to ensure the sustainable operation of the Kariba Reservoir going into the year 2022.

The Zambezi River Authority is a bi-national organization mandated to contribute to the economic, industrial, and social development of the Republics of Zambia and Zimbabwe by obtaining the greatest possible benefits from the natural advantages offered by the waters of the Zambezi River.