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, Programme Director, International Hydropower Association (IHA). “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 27GW 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 Cooperation, it is relevant to highlight the role that integrated water and energy infrastructure asset management plays in contributing to enhanced regional cooperation across the world.”
The International Hydropower Association (IHA) continues to promote the development of sustainable hydropower to enhance global energy and water security. Through a multi-stakeholder process, IHA has 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 World Congress in Malaysia from 21-24 May. Further details are available at
The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit organisation, working with a network of members and partners to advance sustainable hydropower.
IHA’s mission is to build and share knowledge on the role of hydropower in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions. IHA champions continuous improvement in the hydropower sector through dialogue with all stakeholders.