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The World Hydropower Congress will be hosted in Paris in 2019, it was announced at the closing of the 2017 event in Addis Ababa.

Ken AdamsIn his closing speech at the United Nations Conference Center, IHA president Ken Adams said: “We cannot to wait to see you in France in two years so we can continue our journey together.”

China Three Gorges Corporation, EDF and GE Renewable Energy have all made commitments to supporting the 2019 World Hydropower Congress in France.


A new collection of case studies highlighting good practice in sustainable hydropower development, Better Hydro: Compendium of Case Studies 2017, has been launched at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress in Addis Ababa.

Better HydroYou can download Better Hydro: Compendium of Case Studies 2017 here.

The collection of 34 case studies is based on assessments carried out under the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, a tool developed through multi-stakeholder consensus that measures the sustainability of projects across a range of social, environmental, economic and technical considerations. The case studies are written by accredited assessors who carried out the assessments on-site.

Topic case studies focus on specific aspects of development, such as ‘indigenous people’, ‘cultural heritage’, ‘economic viability’, and ‘water quality’ (23 are covered in total).

In addition, the publication features five project-wide case studies that cover a broad geographical scope and focus on different stages of project development. Finally, six more general initiatives demonstrating innovative local and regional approaches are also detailed.

Richard Taylor, IHA Chief Executive, said: "By using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, project developers have been able to identify gaps in their practices and processes, and better understand how they can be addressed. 

"This has brought forth some invaluable information for the sector as a whole, but until now this has not been made widely accessible. With the publication of this compendium, we are taking an important step towards sharing these examples."

10 May 2017 - The G-res tool was launched today at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress in Addis Ababa. G-res enables decision-makers and stakeholders to better estimate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the introduction of a reservoir into a landscape. 

Yves PrairieLaunched by IHA in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair for Global Environmental Change, this publicly-available, web-based tool can be used to measure net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on existing or planned reservoirs. 

GHG emissions from natural inland waters, such as streams, rivers and lakes, are significant sources of atmospheric carbon. The creation of a reservoir alters the natural flows of a water body, adding additional organic matter due to the flooding of surrounding areas, which generates carbon dioxide and methane during decomposition. Current research indicates that on average, 75 per cent of CO2 emissions observed on reservoir surfaces can be considered natural, meaning they would have occurred even if the reservoir had not been created. Methane emissions, meanwhile, present a much more significant environmental challenge. 

Accurate estimation of the emissions from reservoirs and understanding the factors that contribute to these are essential for determining the design characteristics of new reservoirs, and for explaining variability in emissions between reservoirs. The G-res tool can be used to calculate the net change in emissions that can be attributed to the creation of a reservoir. It therefore offers a reliable picture of the real environmental impact of the creation of a reservoir. 

G-res also takes into account emissions generated by reservoir construction, and by recognising the different services offered by reservoir creation, the tool allows for improved GHG accounting of associated human activities. Many reservoirs serve multiple purposes, including water supply, irrigation, hydropower, flood control, environmental management and pollution control. 

The tool builds on a conceptual framework developed by researchers from the University of Québec at Montreal (UQÀM), the Norwegian Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research (SINTEF) and the Natural Resources Institute of Finland (LUKE). It utilises a new modelling methodology based on current scientific knowledge and over 500 empirical measurements from over 200 reservoirs worldwide. 

Find out more about the G-res tool at

The Blanda hydropower project in Iceland is the 2017 winner of the IHA Blue Planet Prize, which recognises projects that demonstrate excellence in sustainable development.

Landsvirkjun teamThe project is developed and operated by Landsvirkjun. A delegation from the company were presented with the award at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress opening dinner on Tuesday 9 May 2017.

The prize is awarded on the basis of an assessment using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, a tool that measures the sustainability of a hydropower project across a range of social, environmental, technical and economic aspects.

The Blanda project scored international proven best practice on 14 out of the 17 topics that were assessed. Standout successes include: 

  • excellent relations with the communities and local stakeholders
  • comprehensive social and environmental compensation measures in the form of highland re-vegetation and local infrastructure
  • social benefits provided over and above the licence requirements

You can watch a short video documentary about the Blanda project here.

Find out more about the protocol at

Find out more about the IHA Blue Planet Prize here.

Anton-Louis Olivier of Renewable Energy Holdings, Kuang Shangfu of the China Institute of Water Resource and Hydropower Research (IWHR) and Eduard Wojcynski of Manitoba Hydro are the winners of the 2017 Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower. 

2017 Mosonyi AwardThe award was presented at the opening dinner of the 2017 World Hydropower Congress in Addis Ababa by IHA president Ken Adams.

Mr Olivier has been a leader in the development and implementation of small-scale hydropower projects in South Africa. In 2002 he developed a vision to use water from the Lesotho High Land project to generate power. After raising funding from the Dutch Government for feasibility studies, he raise sufficient funds to construct the project. At the time, the project was a first in many ways. It was the first project of its kind to obtain a generation license, PPA and water abstraction permit under the Water Act of 1986. 

He is viewed as a pioneer in the industry in the southern African region and has helped advance the quality and the perception of small-scale hydropower, leading to a greater interest by other developers.

Dr Kuang, president of the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR) has spent over a decade promoting excellence in hydropower development and sustainability. He has been instrumental in facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experience not only in China but on a global scale, enabling many developing countries to improve their sustainable hydropower development. 

Under Dr Kuang’s leadership, IWHR has provided research and consultancy services to almost all of China’s key hydropower projects and a further 150 projects in more than 30 countries. He has helped to develop an extensive talent pool, and has been instrumental in establishing IWHR as both the National Research Center for Sustainable Hydropower Development under China’s National Energy Administration, and the IHA China Office

Mr Wojczynski, formerly of Manitoba Hydro, has been involved in hydropower for most of his 35-year career. He was instrumental in driving major enhancements to the planning and implementation of hydropower projects in Manitoba resulting in greater emphasis on avoiding or mitigating environmental and social impacts, and increasing benefits of hydropower with the objective of projects being welcomed as an overall benefit to communities.  

Among his many achievements, he has: improved the environmental and social characteristics of hydropower in Manitoba; supported hydropower research, climate change and lifecycle GHG analysis; and improved North American perceptions of hydropower as a preferable renewable resource and a climate change solution.

The award is named after Emil Mosonyi, the founding president of the International Hydropower Association. Prof Mosonyi, who passed away in 2009 aged 98, made major contributions to hydropower during his long career. Find out more about the award here.