Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the company that operates the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi River, Mozambique, has increased discharge rate of water to ensure “the hydraulic and operational safety of the dam,” and warned people to avoid downstream areas.
Cahora Bassa discharges water at a rate of 1 800 cubic metres per second (m3/s). It has maintained this level of discharge for over a month, although much more water has entered the dam reservoir from upstream. As a result the Cahora Bassa lake is now 70% full. HCB will gradually increase the discharges to 2 800 m3/s.
This is a precautionary measure meant to safeguard the dam against operational risk, though there is a risk of rising water levels for people living downstream.