On the occasion of World Water Day, we are calling on the hydropower sector to help manage water in a climate-constrained world.
Beyond mitigation through reduced emissions compared with fossil fuel generation, the management of water is a core issue in responding to climate change. Water infrastructure is critical to global water security by providing buffers against increasing hydrological variability.
“In the face of climate change, multi-purpose hydropower has a vital role to play in managing water" said Tracy Lane, IHA programme pirector. "Water storage can protect communities from the impacts of unpredictable floods and droughts, and revenues from hydropower can help finance water management infrastructure.”
Hydropower has experienced renewed interest from investors and policy-makers in recent years, with newly installed hydropower capacity exceeding 27 GW in 2012. To maximise the community benefit of this renewed investment, IHA seeks to promote incentives for multi-purpose use of the stored water through sustainable practices.
“To ensure that projects are developed sustainably, IHA urges investors and operators alike to make use of the existing hydropower sustainability assessment tools,” said IHA sustainability director, Cameron Ironside, adding that: “With 2013 the international year of water co-operation, it is relevant to highlight the role that integrated water and energy infrastructure asset management plays in contributing to enhanced regional co-operation across the world.”
We continue to work with our members to promote the development of sustainable hydropower to enhance global energy and water security. Through a multi-stakeholder process, we have developed the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol as a tool to enable sustainability assessments and to maximise project benefits for all purposes.
Sustainable hydropower infrastructure provides solutions for pressing societal water management needs.
These issues will be further discussed at the upcoming IHA 2013 World Congress in Malaysia from 21-24 May.