River basin development
A river basin is a network of connected ecosystems which is shared by different communities and water users.
The combination of climate change, population growth, economic development and the expansion of irrigated areas means it is becoming increasingly more difficult to manage shared rivers without a collaborative and adaptive approach.
When selecting a site for a hydropower project, decision-makers should examine the entire river basin. This involves considering how to maximise energy generation alongside the environmental, social and economic outcomes for all users.
Successful river basin development involves a holistic approach which encourages cooperation among a diverse group of stakeholders in the utilisation of river resources.
Site selection at the basin-scale ensures the optimal use of natural resources, supporting water supply, energy and agricultural uses. This minimises impacts, protects the environment and improves livelihoods.
Our strategy and action
IHA helps members and partners to understand how to design collaborative, adaptive approaches to river basin development.
Our strategy is to collect and share experiences and knowledge with members, policy-makers and other stakeholders to support hydropower development planning at basin-scale.
The river basin development work programme shares knowledge with regulators, state-owned entities and developers seeking a licence to operate, to help them identify risks, challenges and solutions to river basin development.
Throughout 2019, we will continue to gather case studies covering both transboundary and national river basin development as a means of sharing knowledge with our members. These case studies will be showcased during the 2019 World Hydropower Congress in Paris, France.
Join the network
IHA members can access the knowledge network in Hydropower Pro, our online member community.
In the online group, network members can connect with each other, exchange experiences and access essential resources, briefings and case studies.
For any questions, please contact IHA analyst Cristina Diez Santos at firstname.lastname@example.org
Latest associated content
This coming May, The Nature Conservancy will serve as a main sponsor of IHA’s 2015 World Hydropower Congress in Beijing, along with major hydropower companies such as China Three Gorges Corporation and EDF.Type:Blog postDate:5 December 2014
This short video introduces the role of hydropower in the world today and the future challenges for sustainable development.Type:Blog postDate:22 August 2014
Giulio Boccaletti, Ph.D., is the managing director for global water at The Nature Conservancy. He spoke with us about sustainability as a structural issue, and the importance of dialogue between NGOs and the hydropower community.Type:Blog postDate:29 April 2014
The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is a tool for assessing the sustainability of hydropower projects against a comprehensive range of social, environmental, technical and economic considerations.Type:Blog postDate:13 February 2014
We have launched a poster to introduce people to the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol as part of the Hydro4LIFE project.Type:Blog postDate:16 December 2013