Southern Africa Kariba Dam Water Level Drops to 17% of Capacity

Levels at the Kariba hydropower dam that borders Zimbabwe and Zambia fell to 17 percent of capacity from 53 percent a year ago, partly on decreased water inflows from the Zambezi river amid below average rainfall.

The water level at the world’s biggest man-made dam fell to

477.95 meters above sea level by Dec. 7, just 2.5 meters more than the minimum operating threshold, the Zambezi River Authority, which regulates Kariba on behalf of the two governments, said on its website Tuesday. Flows of the Zambezi river at Victoria Falls were 24 percent lower than a year ago.

Kariba’s reduced output has led to power cuts in both nations, forcing some miners in Zambia to agree to scale back energy consumption. Both nations have faced accusations of taking too much water out of the reservoir.

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