Freshwater management is a major challenge for society, especially in developing economies, which is further accentuated by the impacts of climate change. Hydropower infrastructure has the ability to store water, setting it apart from other renewable technologies.
Hydropower’s storage capabilities also enable it to provide solutions to increasingly frequent extreme weather events, such as droughts and flooding.
Hydropower's role in freshwater management is often considered through the lens of the water-energy nexus. This refers to the relationship between the impact on water in the supply of energy, and the amount of energy needed to collect, clean, move, store and dispose of water.
Hydropower sits at the heart of this nexus, using water as its fuel to generate electricity while in many cases making water available for other needs such as irrigation, navigation, recreation and drinking water supply.
As awareness of the water-energy nexus grows, the hydropower sector has an imperative to build understanding internally as well as with external stakeholders on how hydropower uses water as well as the contributions hydropower makes to managing water scarcity and other water management services.
Our work on water and energy
IHA has been a leading voice on the water-energy nexus, promoting awareness of the multiple water and energy services provided by hydropower. We have also been an advocate for establishing a sound evidence base on hydropower’s water footprint.
We participate in several knowledge finding initiatives in these areas in partnership with institutions such as the World Water Council (WWC), the World Energy Council (WEC), UN-Water, UNU-Flores and IEA Hydro.
We are continuing our work with WWC on the Evaluation Framework for Energy Impacts on Water (W4EF) and Multipurpose Water uses of Hydropower Reservoirs. We are seeking members to volunteer for case studies trialling the methodology for the W4EF initiative, which is led by EDF. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch.
Latest associated content
An initiative in Uganda seeks to help agricultural development by encouraging the implementation of small hydropower projects that deliver electricity to farmers, agribusiness, and other customers in the area surrounding the powType:Blog postDate:21 November 2014
Junaid Ahmad is the senior director of the World Bank’s Global Water Practice. In this video interview, he spoke with us about the investment case for hydropower and the world in 2050.Type:Blog postDate:7 November 2014
Maria Van Der Hoeven is the executive director of the International Energy Agency.Type:Blog postDate:16 October 2014
On Thursday 4 September at World Water Week 2014 in Stockholm, we joined with the Centre for Environmental Design of Renewable Energy (CEDREN) and the United Nations Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and ResType:Blog postDate:11 September 2014
On 5–6 August, hydropower stakeholders congregated at the National Conference on Hydropower in India, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).Type:Blog postDate:26 August 2014