By Sifelani Tsiko
Water at Lake Kariba, the world’s largest reservoir has risen above its minimum operating level of 475.50 metres bolstering hopes for secure energy supplies for Zimbabwe and Zambia.
A latest update from the Zambezi River Authority showed that its water elevation as at March 2, 2021 had risen to 480.76 meters.
“From the last update made on 19th January 2021, the lake levels have increased by a total of 3.96 meters from the lake level of 476.80m recorded on January 19th to a lake level of 480.76 meters recorded on 2nd March 2021,” the Authority said.
“This has placed the lake level at 5.26m above the Minimum Operating Level (MOL) of 475.50m. This lake level recorded on 2nd March 2021 translates into usable storage or live storage of 24.31 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM). Last year on the same date, the Lake level was lower at 477.17m with 7.48BCM of usable water or 11.55% live storage.”
In 2019, Lake Kariba, a major source of water for energy generation, domestic consumption, fisheries and wildlife, stood at its lowest level since at least 1996.
Water levels on Lake Kariba fell sharply after southern Africa endured its worst drought in nearly four decades in the previous season.
Straddling the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, Lake Kariba is 223 kilometres long and stretches 40 kilometres across at its widest point.