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IHA Launch Knowledge Hub Aiding Sediment Management

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has launched a new online resource for hydropower developers, researchers and operating companies seeking to improve sediment management in reservoirs.

The Hydropower Sediment Management Knowledge Hub presents a range of strategies and resources, including 18 case studies from 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central and South America and the Pacific.

Sedimentation in river systems is caused by both natural erosion and human activities such as deforestation, mining, agriculture and infrastructure development.

Sediment transport can cause considerable operational and maintenance challenges for hydropower facilities when passing through critical components of water passageways. Dams are typically designed to provide enough storage to offset 50 to 100 years of sediment accumulation, and changes in the sediment regime can ultimately compromise the expected performance and lifetime of a project.

“If not effectively managed, sediment can have a serious impact on the operations and lifetime of a hydropower facility,” said Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of the IHA. “As climate change can affect catchment conditions and hydrological patterns, rates of erosion and sedimentation will require even further monitoring and management.

“Drawing upon case studies from around the world, this knowledge hub offers decision-makers, managers and academics a resource for building and sharing knowledge on sediment management.”

The new online hub is hosted jointly by IHA with the support of the South Asia Water Initiative, a partnership between the World Bank and the governments of UK, Australia and Norway.

“The purpose of this web project is to widen awareness about reservoir sediment management,” explained Pravin Karki, Global Lead for Hydropower and Dams at the World Bank. “The knowledge hub will equip decision-takers with critical knowledge when developing new hydropower projects, and help existing facilities to identify and implement successful techniques based on tried and tested industry practices.”

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