Exactly two years ago we published a post about installing a “gaging station” at the Ruvyi102 site on the Ruvyironza River. Now after two years of monitoring the river level on the gage twice daily, we have excellent data that correlates with historical data from an old gaging station located 20km downstream.
Well validated hydrology data is crucial for the proper design of a hydropower plant for two primary reasons: 1) power output is directly proportional to water flow rate, and 2) high flow events (floods) must be well anticipated in order to properly design the small dam and the location of the power house, so as to avoid flooding. As throughout Burundi, the variation in flow from the dry season to the rainy season is large – varying by a factor of five or more. Knowing the annual variation in flow rates also allows us to optimize the plant design in order to produce the most energy for the lowest cost.