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Freshwater management

Freshwater management is a major challenge for society, especially in developing economies and climate stressed regions. This means balancing energy and water supply requirements alongside environmental, social and economic priorities for all river basin users.

Hydropower infrastructure can play an important role in providing water supply and irrigation to support agriculture and local livelihoods, as well as offering drought mitigation and flood control.

Hydropower’s freshwater services can be impacted by sedimentation, caused by natural erosion, deforestation, construction and agriculture. A range of freshwater and sediment management strategies should be deployed to protect the ecosystems that a river system supports.

Our action

IHA is a leading voice in global discussions on the water-energy nexus, promoting awareness of the multiple freshwater services provided by sustainable hydropower.

IHA’s Sediment Management Knowledge Hub continues to be a resource of strategies and case studies for restoring sediment transport connectivity, to stabilise reservoir capacity while supporting ecological and environmental functions. The hub is helping hydropower developers and researchers to implement and refine sediment management practices based on real-life industry experiences and practices.

We regularly gather case studies and share them with our members, policymakers and other stakeholders to support sustainable hydropower development.