The Guri dam in Venezuela during a drought in 2016
“We cannot avoid the fact that climate change is having a remarkable impact on hydropower generation and it increases the challenge of managing hydro plants,” Clemente Prieto of the Spanish Committee on Large Dams, told DW.
Water power production falls
This is a serious concern for southern and eastern African countries.
Malawi relies on hydropower for 98 percent of its electricity supply. Last year, it suffered prolonged blackouts. According to the World Bank, less than 10 percent of Malawians have access to a power supply anyway, but key public infrastructure, such as hospitals, was badly hit.
Hydropower makes up 95 percent of Zambia’s power supply — most of it from Lake Kariba, the world’s largest man-made reservoir. But due to El Nino in 2016, water levels dropped to 13 percent of their usual capacity, Daisy Mukarakate, climate change program specialist with the United Nations Development Program Africa (UNDP), told DW.