As a significant water resource development, a hydropower project requires a very good understanding of water inflows and outflows to and from the project site and the future operating hydropower facility. Poor estimations of water availability can lead to inefficient design and operation of the hydropower facility and reduce its production potential.
Good practice requires a high level of understanding of the hydrological resource availability and reliability for the project or operating hydropower facility, and the implementation of a plan for generation operations based on these flows.
Adhering to good practice in hydrological resource management can help a project developer, owner or operator better address issues around hydrological resource availability and reliability in the short- and long-term.
Understanding good practice
International industry good practice in hydrological resource for hydropower projects is defined in the Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice (HGIIP).
The guidelines were published by the International Hydropower Association and are governed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, a multi-stakeholder group of representatives of civil society, industry, governments and financial institutions.
Assessing project performance
Two assessment tools are available to measure hydropower project performance:
The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) is used by independent accredited assessors to consider whether a project has achieved good and best practice at different stages of its life cycle. Hydrological Resource is addressed in P-7 for the preparation stage and O-4 for the operation stage.
The Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool is used by independent accredited assessors to help project teams address any gaps against good practice in environmental, social and governance topics across 12 assessment sections. Hydrological Resource is addressed in Section 3.