Monday, June 4, 2018: Water levels at Kenya’s largest hydro power generating dam located in the Seven Forks Cascade, Masinga, have, as of 6:00am, today marginally receded to 1,057.23 metres above sea level (m a.s.l.), from 1,057.72 m a.s.l. as of the last update shared.
This decline is attributed to a general reduction in the amount of rainfall in the water catchment area that feeds into the dam which has consequently led to a reduction in water flowing out of the dam; which currently stands at 225.5 cubic metres per second from 514.6 cubic metres per second as of the last update.
The reduction of water flowing in and out of the dam is expected to continue as the cessation of the long rains season takes effect and is replaced by a spell of cold and chilly weather in the catchment area feeding into the Seven Forks Cascade; according to the June 2018 Kenya Meteorological Department forecast.
Water levels at other dams located along the Cascade continue to have enhanced water levels with Kamburu Dam’s levels currently standing at 1006.16 m a.s.l., while that of Gitaru Dam standing at 924.94 m a.s.l. Kindaruma Dam’s water level stands at 780.96 m a.s.l., while Kiambere Dam’s stands at 700.72 m a.s.l.
Speaking while giving today’s update, KenGen Managing Director and CEO, Rebecca Miano said:
“Water levels along the Seven Forks Cascade dams remain enhanced as a result of the enhanced rainfall recorded in May but are expected to stabilize with the cessation of the long rains. We continue to monitor the situation along the dams to ensure prudent management of the same.”
On the role the dams play in the management of downstream water flow, Mrs. Miano added:
“In addition to hydro power generation, dams along the Seven Forks Cascade help in controlling water flowing downstream consequently assisting in managing the situation whenever there are instances of enhanced rainfall; such as the country has experienced this year.”
She said that the dams are built in a manner allowing water to spill over, in a controlled way, whenever water volume levels are surpassed in order to retain their structural
integrity; ruling out the suggestion that KenGen releases excesses water downstream whenever dams reach their maximum water levels.
“Contrary to perception, we do not manually release excess water from the dams when they attain their maximum levels; this is an in-built and automatic control mechanism that allows water to spill over, in a controlled manner, in order to safeguard the integrity of the dams. The excess water flowing downstream in turn leads to enhanced water levels along the rivers,” she said.
Cognizant of the net result of the above to communities living downstream, KenGen – in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility strategy - is working with various stakeholders that include the Kenya Red Cross as well as County and Regional Administration, to provide necessary support to those affected.
KenGen will continue to provide prompt information on water inflows and levels with a view to facilitating proper management of the situation.
About Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited
Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KenGen) is the leading electric power generation company in Kenya, producing about 80 percent of electricity consumed in the country. The company, which is listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) utilizes various sources to generate electricity ranging from hydro, geothermal, thermal and wind. Hydro is the leading source, with an installed capacity of 819.9MW, which is 51 per cent of the company installed capacity. Geothermal comes second with 463.1MW and another 55.6MW from the innovative wellheads technology raising geothermal capacity to about 32% of the total installed capacity. However with the commissioning of the 280MW Geothermal project in Olkaria, geothermal now accounts for more than 50% of the electricity consumed by Kenyans.
With its wealth of experience, established corporate base and a clear vision, the company intends to maintain leadership in the liberalized electric energy sub-sector in Kenya and the Eastern Africa Region.