Workshop hastens progress as Save River Basin project Phase 2 gains momentum

Workshop hastens progress as Save River Basin project Phase 2 gains momentum

The Save River Basin is one of three basins shared exclusively between Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In 2013, the two countries produced a Save River Basin Joint Integrated Water Resources Management Strategy, which lays out 20-year development priorities for the basin. Since 2015, CRIDF has been helping the countries implement some components of the strategy. The assistance has comprised assessing cross-border flow data requirements, promoting optimal management for equitable access of shared waters within the basin, and prioritising future dams for implementation. Our latest workshop brought together partners to analyse progress, setting Phase 2 work goals towards Save River Basin project completion in 2020.

The Save River Basin’s poor and vulnerable communities depend on coordinated water-sharing systems, making decisions on CRIDF’s Phase 2 work paramount to their sustainable future. At the workshop, it was agreed that new gauging stations will be installed to measure flows on the Save and Runde River confluence on the border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and that CRIDF will review existing gauging stations at Mozambique’s request. Various study findings were confirmed, allowing CRIDF to proceed with the wider Phase 2 work programme. Decisions were made on types of equipment to use, site scoping and the need for fishways within monitoring stations.

CRIDF partners also agreed that Phase 2 will improve sustainable water management by widening the regional water demand dataset across all Mozambique’s irrigation areas and offering capacity development support. The total system yield for the whole basin was therefore updated, with the intention that the new data will feed into a Dam Prioritisation Task. A total of six large dams were identified for implementation: the workshop participants decided that a small Massangena Dam must be maintained as an option, and that the other five dams must respond to both local and transboundary demands. Phase 2 dam design work, cost estimates and benefits, and a draft dam prioritisation report are all outputs of this work. Together, the new work represents a major step towards joint management, equitable access to water and long-term sustainability in the Save River Basin by 2020.