New Technology Aims to Safeguard Hydropower Dams from Flooding
In an effort to protect its hydropower dams from the devastating impact of flooding, the Ugandan government, through the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), has obtained cutting-edge technology known as the ‘Operation Decision Support System for Hydropower (ODSS-HP).’ This technology, developed by the French development agency Agence Française de Développement (AFD) with funding from the European Union, aims to forecast water flow patterns in the River Nile and Lake Victoria.
The ODSS-HP technology serves as a virtual tool that optimizes power generation for key hydropower stations in Uganda, including Karuma, Kiira, Isimba, and Nalubaale. It operates as a decision support system, offering seasonal predictions of water flow trends in the regions where these power stations are located. This capability equips authorities with the knowledge needed to prepare for potential water shortages, which could result in reduced power output, as well as flood risks during periods of heavy rainfall.
Charles Mwase, the UEGCL engineer-in-charge of production planning and water safety, emphasized the significance of this technology, particularly in light of past experiences. He highlighted instances in 2020 and 2021 when high water flows from Lake Victoria led to flooding along its shores. These events served as a driving force behind the implementation of the ODSS-HP project. As a result, UEGCL recognized the necessity of improved water resource management, given the central role that Lake Victoria plays in the nation’s hydropower generation.