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Climate change

Hydropower generates low-carbon power, and provides essential climate adaptation services to mitigate the impact of extreme weather events such as floods and drought.

Although characterised by their longevity, hydropower plants in some areas will need to strengthen their resilience to climate change to ensure operations are not compromised in the long term.

The precise greenhouse gas footprint of a reservoir can vary depending on a range of conditions. Trusted tools are required to measure GHG emissions and give confidence to communities, investors and governments about a hydropower project’s low carbon profile.

Our action

IHA is supporting hydropower to both become more resilient to climate change and to be more widely recognised as a low carbon form of energy.

We launched IHA’s Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide to support owners, developers and investors to plan, build, upgrade and operate facilities in the face of variable climatic and hydrological conditions.

We continue to offer training and validation services for the GHG Reservoir (G-res) Tool for reporting on the carbon footprint of a reservoir. Developed in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair for Global Environmental Change, the tool provides a cost-effective way to more accurately assess net greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate resilience

IHA has published the Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide to ensure that hydropower projects will be resilient to climate change.

The guide provides workable international good practice guidance for project owners, governments, financial institutions and private developers. 


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Latest associated content

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    Better Hydro: reducing sedimentation and erosion at Blanda, Iceland

    The Blanda project, owned by Landsvirkjun, carried out one of the largest revegetation and erosion control programmes in Iceland's history. This case study demonstrates how the project's efforts to reduce sedimentation and erosion have benefitted local communities and biodiversity. 

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  • Guest blog: Hydrology and climate change - how climate models can help the hydropower sector

    Climate change is a complex phenomenon which is under intense study by the scientific community for the risk it poses to sustainable development. Vinod Chilkoti, researcher at the University of Windsor (Ontario, Canada) writes about possible strategies for the hydropower sector.

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    Guest blog: Keeping safe around dams

    Angus Swindon, Entura's national director of power and water, explains that keeping the public safe around dams involves considering and mitigating some more common and less documented risks. 

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  • Chaglla community bus stop

    Better Hydro: Environmental and social issues management at Chaglla, Peru

    This case study is featured in Better Hydro: Compendium of Case Studies 2017, which highlights examples of good practice in hydropower sustainability across all aspects of project development.

    Blog post
    17 July 2017
  • Better Hydro: engaging with indigenous peoples at Keeyask, Canada

    The Keeyask project was developed by Manitoba Hydro (MH) in partnership with four Cree Nations communities affected by the project. This case study demonstrates best practices in engaging and working with indigenous peoples, respecting culture and livelihoods, achieving consent and providing significant benefits.

    Blog post
    28 June 2017


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