Topic: Hydropower - International Riversymposium | New Delhi, 12 - 14 September 2016
17316
page,page-id-17316,page-child,parent-pageid-17640,page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-10.1.1,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.11.2.1,vc_responsive
 

Topic: Hydropower

Jump to:

Issues and challenges of sustainable hydropower development in the Indian-Himalayan region
Sanchit Saran Agarwal, Mitthan Lal Kansal and David E. Rheinheimer
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India

Gaining public rejection: lessons for sustainable hydropower development from Myanmar’s Myitsone Dam
Tira Foran, Zhu Xianghui, David Fullbrook and Sue Cuddy (presenter)
CSIRO, Australia

Spatial distribution of fish diversity in River Narmada and its tributaries
Parul Gurjar and Vipin Vyas
Barkatullah University, India

Flow alteration signatures of diversion hydropower: An analysis of 32 rivers in southwestern China
Kelly Kibler and Mohammadhossein Alipour
University of Central Florida, United States

Hydropower, Environment and Environmental Flows
Arun Kumar
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India

Impact of Hydropower Projects and of the 1960s Indus Water Treaty on the Fish Fauna found in the Indus and Jhelum River Basins common to India and Pakistan
Muhammad Rafique, Vaqar Zakaria and Cate Brown
Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Pakistan

Water-energy-food nexus lessons from small hydropower in Bhilangana Sub-basin, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India
Debashish Sen and Neha Khandekar
People’s Science Institute, India

home-greatriver-bg

Monday 12 September
10:30 – 12:00

Gaining public rejection: lessons for sustainable hydropower development from Myanmar’s Myitsone Dam

Tira Foran, Zhu Xianghui, David Fullbrook and Sue Cuddy (presenter)
CSIRO, Australia

This presentation engages with the problem of securing public legitimacy for large-scale hydropower. The importance of legitimated development has been recognized in a number of governance frameworks and guidelines. The World Commission on Dams notably regarded “gaining public acceptance” as the first of its seven strategic priorities. However, in developing countries, hydropower development often occurs through opaque decision making processes, notwithstanding the potential for irreversible changes to ecosystems which put the security of livelihoods of many people at risk. Unusually, one such project, the 3600MW Myitsone dam in northern Myanmar, was suspended in 2011 following concerted multilevel opposition. Losses incurred by dam proponents (reportedly USD1.2 billion for the Chinese state-owned enterprise leading the project) are good reason for developers and purchasers of Myanmar hydroelectricity to reconsider strategic interests. A better understanding of evolving governance processes in Myanmar is necessary for proponents and opponents to avoid more such costly reconsiderations and pursue instead more sustainable alternatives. Suspension of Myitsone dam opened a rare opportunity to explore the decision making process. Using documents, interviews and group discussions we identified actors, patterns and implications, to reconstruct critical events in decision making. The 2011 decision followed an anti-project mobilization in a country with tight controls on freedom of expression and few formal channels into policy institutions. Remarkably, civil society rejection of the project filtered up through informal channels to influence a decision with ongoing implications for large hydropower development. Analysis yields four important insights: the inadequacy of formal agreements executed with the central state to reduce project risks; the importance of issue representation and argument in coalition advocacy; the importance of “gaining public rejection” as a milestone event in Myanmar’s development of a large hydropower policy regime; and finally, the possibility of an alternative hydropower policy regime founded on the value of broad-based development.

Susan-Cuddy

About the author

Dr Tira Foran is a Research Scientist in the Basin Management Outcomes Program in CSIRO Land & Water. Tira has 20 years of experience working in governance and social assessment, including work on contentious hydropower and electricity planning in Thailand and export-oriented hydropower in the Mekong region. At CSIRO since 2010, Tira has worked on food security in West Africa, and on water-energy-food challenges in the Mekong region, in both cases developing methods and techniques to improve multi-stakeholder learning and participation in policy formulation. Pictured: Sue Cuddy (presenter)

Water-energy-food nexus lessons from small hydropower in Bhilangana Sub-basin, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India

Debashish Sen and Neha Khandekar
People’s Science Institute, India

Although hydro-power is considered to be clean energy, medium and large capacity hydro-power projects (HEP) have detrimental environmental impacts (MoEF, 2014). Hydro-power development policy and projects seems to have grossly overlooked the impacts on agriculture based livelihoods of the villages neighboring the project sites (Chopra, 2012). A general notion is that small ROR (run of the river) type HEPs (less than 25 MW) have lesser negative socio-economic and environmental impacts. However, such projects and their impacts have not been studied in detail. This study, therefore, aims to investigate and assess agriculture based livelihood impacts of Small Hydro-Projects (SHPs) by taking the case of Bhilangana Sub-basin.

Two small ROR type projects have been considered for the study. Using Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) exercises, socio-economic household surveys, and impact mapping on cadastral maps, the range and extent of impacts were recorded and analyzed. The water-energy-food linkage in studied coupled system is between small hydropower and farm production. There is diversion of stream water for power generation or, disturbance in ground water during HEP construction, which was being used for irrigating fields in the past. Impacts of hydropower development manifests in the form of loss of irrigated area and crop productivity, which affects household level food availability. It is the economically poorer families and women headed households who have been affected the most. Farmers have engaged themselves in off farm livelihoods as a coping strategy for augmenting their income.

Results, when compared across projects, show that mechanisms for negotiations between developer and farming community minimize the losses for irrigation based livelihoods. Thus, community participation and proper institutional systems need to be ensured for addressing the grievances and more equitable flow of benefits to the poorer households. Sustainable practices like system of crop intensification (SCI) can further ensure healthy harvest with optimal water requirement.

IMG_20160429_211806

About the authors

The authors are senior researchers from People’s Science Institute (PSI), Dehradun. PSI is a part of a collaborative research project ‘Hydropower Irrigation Nexus in Upper Ganga’, with project Principal Investigator, Dr Chris Scott, from University of Arizona, and other partners from Delhi University and ICIMOD, Nepal. The funding for this study has been provided by Water, land and ecosystems (WLE) program of Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

Hydropower, Environment and Environmental Flows

Arun Kumar
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India

With a very few or no storage dam(s) and diversion structures for different water use together with the absence of regulations on minimum flows, the rivers are subject to high flow variability and almost dry stretch during lean periods. Steep slopes have high hydropower potential and at the same time unregulated flow in the diverted stretch combined with, poor governance during construction activities often being considered are in conflict. Several states are having such predicament.

In the plains stretches of rivers are subjected to on one hand high abstractions to meet water requirement for irrigation and drinking use and on other hand untreated and poorly treated waste water from industries, towns and cities make matter of low flows even worse. Rapid change of land use from primitive to altered stage is leading to fast depleting ground water table. High level of pathogens due to untreated waste water, poor interaction of river and ground water during lean season due to high ground water withdrawal, encroachment of river flood plain, floating trash are some issues requiring a high level of people’ participation, cost effective treatment, stringent monitoring, effective governance and innovations at state level rather than centre level together with a rethinking on storage dams.

The critically polluted stretch of river minimum flows (environmental flows) need to be ensured. For such stretches, fresh water may be stored by using low height flexible weirs (rubber dams) thus creating water bodies in the river itself, without disturbing existing legal social and environment issues and not causing any submergence other than natural river section, will be having high positive environmental and social impacts and can be installed in cascade.

The issue related to rejuvenation of rivers being multi-dimensional activity involves activities in social, economic, management, infrastructure, scientific and technological issues are discussed and presented.

arun-kumar-India-april-14

About the author

Prof Arun Kumar a civil engineer with specialization in water resources and hydropower by education is working at AHEC, IIT Roorkee since 1981 and is Professor. He has been awarded MNRE Chair Professor and served as CLA for Hydropower on Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources for IPCC – working group III during 2009-11. He has been appointed by Government of India as the Director NHPC in November 2015. He carried out CIA studies of hydropower projects on river Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Yamuna and Sutlaj in recent years. He appraises the project proposals on pollution abatements and RFD works for MoEF, Government of India and National Mission for Clean Ganga regularly. He has over 35 year experience of R&D, extension and teaching SHP, other renewable energy sources and environmental management of river and lakes.

Issues and challenges of sustainable hydropower development in the Indian-Himalayan region

Sanchit Saran Agarwal, Mitthan Lal Kansal and David E. Rheinheimer
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India

To help achieve energy security, many South Asian countries are increasingly turning towards the rivers of the Himalaya for their vast hydropower potential, as hydropower provides a relatively clean and renewable source of energy. However, hydropower development in the Himalayas is faced with numerous risks and uncertainties that challenge its contribution to sustainable development; understanding these threats is critical for long term energy, environmental and social planning. The current study reviews the major physical and economic uncertainties faced by hydropower planners and the major environmental, social, and economic threats from hydropower development in the Indian Himalaya region. Technical uncertainties include hydrological and geological events, while economic uncertainties arise from finance mechanism and energy economic uncertainties, physical system degradation, and unexpected development costs. Environmental threats from hydropower include degradation to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, cumulative environmental impacts, and environmental impact assessment policy and implementation. Social threats include resettlement and rehabilitation policy and implementation, transparency and community engagement, upstream/downstream social equity, international hydro-political conflicts, and social impact assessment policy and implementation. Economic threats from hydropower include unfulfilled local economic improvement, as well as economic aspects of resettlement issues. Climate change, a major driver of hydro-climatic and energy-environment system uncertainty, is also discussed, as are implications for regional hydropower development and future research needs. The aim of the authors is to make the readers aware of the challenges faced during hydropower development in the Indian Himalayan region along with the positive and adverse changes in the region due to such projects.

Sanchit-Saran-Agarwal

About the author

Sanchit Saran Agarwal is currently enrolled as a PhD student in Department of Water Resources & Development, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India. He is a graduate of Electrical & Electronics engineering who did his Masters of Technology in Water Resources Development from the same institute in 2012. His areas of interest are: Sustainable Development of Hydropower Systems, Electrical Power Systems, Risk and Uncertainties Management.

Monday 12 September
13:30 – 15:00

Flow alteration signatures of diversion hydropower: An analysis of 32 rivers in southwestern China

Kelly Kibler and Mohammadhossein Alipour
University of Central Florida, United States

Hydrologic changes caused by diversion hydropower are poorly described. Herein we evaluate hydrologic alteration in 32 ungauged rivers, all tributaries to China’s Nu River, and all developed with diversion hydropower stations. We simulated long-term unregulated discharge records before perturbing flows with the hydropower diversion. We then compared periods with and without diversion. We detected statistically significant changes to flow regime metrics across all rivers. Magnitudes across a range of flows consistently decreased following diversion, flow variability decreased substantially, and transitions between flows of different magnitudes became more abrupt. Magnitudes of 7-day minimum flows were lower by a mean of 41±23% (p < 0.05 for 19 rivers), annual maximum flows decreased significantly (p < 0.05) in 22 rivers, and 7-day maximum flows decreased by a mean of 52±18% (p < 0.05 for 26 rivers). Temporally dynamic low to moderate flows were replaced by static minimal flows, leading to a mean 184±49% increase in flow constancy. Duration of flows sustained below the Q75 increased (p < 0.05 for 32 rivers) from a mean of 3 days to a mean of 27 days after diversion. Mean hydrograph rise and fall rates doubled and tripled respectively (p < 0.05 for 28 rivers). Although direction of observed change was consistent among the rivers, magnitudes and significance of response often varied between rivers. A proposed diversion index largely explained response variability among the 32 rivers. Study results highlight that even hydropower systems without storage reservoirs can profoundly affect river flow regimes when water is diverted from the river.

departmental_September2015-Kelly-Kibler-1826-9-11-2015-lower-Res

About the author

Kelly Kibler is an Assistant Professor in Water Resources Engineering at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, USA. Dr. Kibler’s research targets the ecohydraulics of river and estuarine systems, at the intersection of engineering and ecology. She studies both natural hydrologic phenomena, as well as waterways that are modified for human benefit, for instance by dams, dredging, levies and hardened structures. Her research seeks water development pathways that minimize ecosystem damages and promote preservation or restoration of aquatic ecosystem services.

Impact of Hydropower Projects and of the 1960s Indus Water Treaty on the Fish Fauna found in the Indus and Jhelum River Basins common to India and Pakistan

Muhammad Rafique, Vaqar Zakaria and Cate Brown
Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Pakistan

With the intervention of the World Bank, Indus Water Treaty was signed between Pakistan and India on sharing of the waters of the Indus River Basin. According to this treaty, Pakistan was given the exclusive rights over the use of the Western Rivers including the Jhelum and Indus but with some stipulations for development of projects on these rivers in India. The rivers Indus and Jhelum flow in the Karakram and Himalayan mountain ranges in both the countries with equal potential of developing hydropower projects. Hundreds of small, medium and large hydropower projects are at different stages of development on these rivers in both the countries. India has completed 15 projects on Jhelum Basin with six additional under construction while 74 more projects are in pipeline. Similarly, Pakistan has planned 62 small, medium and large projects on the Jhelum Basin which are in different stages of feasibility studies and development.

Both, the river Indus and Jhelum, have fish fauna of special importance in the Himalayan and Karakoram region which also has high potential of hydropower development. Both the rivers have 16 Limited Range (endemic to the basins), one Critically Endangered, one Endangered, two Near Threatened, and three Vulnerable fish species in this area in addition to many commercially important species providing protein rich diet and livelihood to the local people. All these species will be potentially at risk of extirpation if the hydropower projects are kept on building without considering the carrying capacity of the basins and without taking the conservation measures and developing management plans. Present paper encompasses the impacts of, Indus Water Treaty in general and of the development of hydropower projects in particular, on the fish fauna of the Indus and Jhelum River basins and possible remedial measures which need to be adopted for their conservation.

Rafique-2

About the author

Muhammad Rafique holds a Ph.D in Zoology with specialization in fish ecology and taxonomy, having worked on ecology, distribution and taxonomy of freshwater fish fauna of Pakistan for the last 35 years. He has been been fish consultant in various hydroelectric development projects being constructed in Pakistan, and part of the South African team lead by Dr. Cate Brown, for determining environmental flows for various rivers impacted by hydro power development projects. He has more than 50 research publications on the subject and has explored almost all the freshwater and brackish water resources of Pakistan and collected and documented about 200 fish species found in Pakistan. He has a repository of more than 50,000 fish specimens collected from all over the country. Muhammad currently works as Director of Zoological Science Division at Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Islamabad.