PRESS STATEMENT ON THE STATUS OF WATER LEVELS IN THE COUNTRY
One of the Key mandates that the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) is entrusted with, is that of water resources management.
In order to achieve this, the Authority has several ground and surface water monitoring stations located in all six hydrological catchments (Kafue, Chambeshi, Luangwa, Luapula, Tanganyika and Zambezi) across the country where it monitors water levels and river flow discharge to better inform development and planning in the country.
WARMA analysed the groundwater data from its ground water monitoring stations for the period 2019 to 2020 in comparison to the 2018/2019 season. The results of the analysis showed that groundwater levels are at their lowest in the last ten years. This can be attributed to reduced rainfall leading to less recharge and increased social economical activities that are dependent on ground water. With this scenario, it is highly unlikely that there will be full recovery of ground water levels for the period 2019/2020 season. This situation may be worsened by the effects of climate change.
The general public and institutions in the following regions; Eastern, Southern, Central, Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces are therefore strongly advised to consider drilling boreholes to a depth ranging from 70m to 120m depending on the geology of a given area. This measure is meant to ensure that resources spent on drilling boreholes are not wasted as a result of boreholes drying up due to receding ground water levels. Further, the public should employ water conservation practices at all times to ensure sustainable utilisation of the available resources.
With regard to surface water, the Authority wishes to highlight the water level status for this current season (2019/2020) compared to last season (2018/2019 season) and forecast for the next thirty days for some key stations on the Kafue and Zambezi Rivers.
The analysis of data from gauging stations located on the Kafue River showed that the water levels for the season 2019/2020 are comparatively lower than those recorded during the same period last season (2018/2019) and also below the long term average water level. However, for the next thirty days a steady increase in the water level is forecast with discharge expected to rise from the current flows of just below 200m3/sec to approximately 1,300 m3/sec.
For the Zambezi River, the water levels are higher than those for last season (2018/2019) during this period, with recorded discharges above 550m3/sec. For the next thirty days, a steady increase in the water level is forecast with flows reaching around 1,500m3/sec and above.
Based on the brief analysis thus far conducted of the two rivers and if the situation prevails, it can be assumed that the water levels reaching the major dams are likely to be comparatively lower than or similar to those for last season (2018/2019) in the Kafue River, and slightly higher to those for last season (2018/2019) in the Zambezi River.
WARMA: Zambia’s Water, Our Future!
Issued by: Joshua C. Kapila (Mr.)
Public Relations Officer