Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project

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Lake Kariba.jpg
Type (project) reservoir
Catchment area 39,076 km2 (15,087 sq mi)
Basin countries Zimbabwe
Max. depth 70 m (230 ft)
Water volume 634 million cubic metres (514,000 acre·ft)
Surface elevation 817 m (2,680 ft)

The Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP) is an ambitious project being undertaken in the arid Matabeleland North province of Zimbabwe.The project seeks to end the perennial water shortages bedevilling Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo by bringing water from the mighty Zambezi river to the city.

The Project[edit]

The project can be classified as a Major Project. It is expected to cost US$600 million which is a huge investment by African standards. The project will consist of three phases as follows:

  • Phase One: Gwayi-Shangani Dam
  • Phase Two: Gwayi-Shangani Dam to Bulawayo Pipeline
  • Phase Three: Gwayi-Shangani Dam to Zambezi River Pipelne

Phase One: Gwayi-Shangani Dam[edit]

The Gwayi-Shangani dam is the first phase of the MZWP and is the core of the project. Commenced in September 2004 it is expected to provide a reservoir for this project. The dam will be located about 6 km downstream of the confluence of the Gwayi River and Shangani River.

Dam Type and Description[edit]

  • Type: It is a Roller Compacted Concrete gravity dam, which means it is a dam relying on its weight for stability.
  • Dimensions
    • Length: 305 metres from one mountain to the other.
    • Width: 60 metres at the base.
    • Height: 70 metres maximum.
    • Bridge: Dam will have a bridge at the top of width 8 m.
  • Depth and Capacity
    • Maximum water depth: 59 metres, 11 metres freeboard.
    • Capacity: 634 million m³
    • 10% Yield: 210 million m³
  • Materials Used And Quantities

Further reading[edit]