Uganda pulls the plug on Lake Victoria to keep its lights on


Dams, not drought to blame: In recent weeks, the operator of the
two dams, the Uganda Electricity Generating Company, has blamed
disruption of electricity supplies on low lake levels, ostensibly
caused by the 10 to 15 per cent decline in rainfall across the lake’s
catchment area during the past two years. However, it now seems that
the dams themselves are as much to blame as the recent drought. Daniel
Kull, a hydrologist with the UN’s International Strategy for Disaster
Reduction in Nairobi, Kenya, calculates that if the dams had been
operated according to the agreed curve during the past two years, the
drought would have caused only half the water loss actually seen.

Water releases 55pc above allowed limit: Kull estimates that in
the past two years, the Ugandan dams have released water at an average
of almost 1250 cubic metres per second. That is 55 per cent more than
the flow permitted for the relevant water levels. “This dam complex is
pulling the plug on Lake Victoria,” says Frank Muramuzi of Uganda’s
National Association of Professional Environmentalists.

New Scientist, 11/2/2006, p. 12

Source: Erisk – 

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