Graphic shows details of Kariba Dam and reservoir water levels.
GN39791

ENVIRONMENT

Kariba dam water falls to lowest level in 23 years

By Mike Tyler

December 11, 2019 - A months-long drought across parts of southern Africa has seriously affected water levels in the Kariba Dam, threatening hydroelectric plants that Zimbabwe and Zambia depend on for the bulk of their power.

Water levels at the Kariba reservoir that straddles the two countries has fallen to 10 percent of usable storage, according to data posted on the Zambezi River Authority’s website. That’s the lowest since 1996 and worse than the 11 percent recorded during a drought in 2016.

Large parts of Zambia and Zimbabwe are experiencing the worst drought in at least four decades, forcing the nations to cut generation from Kariba after water flows fell sharply in the Zambezi river that feeds it. Each country has implemented power cuts lasting as long as 18 hours a day as a result, Bloomberg said.

PUBLISHED: 11/12/2019; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images
Graphic News Standards