The Initiative for Sustainable Hydropower (ISH) was established with the aim of seeking to embed sustainable hydropower considerations into the regulatory frameworks and planning systems of member countries and into project level planning, design, implementation and operational activities. The ISH 2011-2015 Strategy emphasizes this requirement as well as the need to understand the scale and distribution of risks associated with hydropower development on the main stream and on tributaries and also seeks the exploration and documentation of possible avoidance, mitigation and benefit and risk sharing options. Beside the Preliminary Design Guidance for Mainstream Dams (PDG) introduced in 2009, necessary frameworks must be in place to provide assurance that risks can be effectively minimized. The ISH is seeking to enhance these Guidelines and to provide more effective and detailed documentation of the options and methods that may be used to cover the mitigation of hydropower risks in the Mekong based on the latest research and practice from around the world and the region and to expand the applicability of these Guidelines to the tributary developments.
The mitigation guidelines will be based on good industrial practice and latest research and technical knowhow. An example overview can be given as follows:
The Guidelines and their application in the Mekong will be tested in a number of ways. Firstly, existing applications of mitigation options and cases studies are sourced from regional hydropower projects or cascades in order to consider the lessons learned from those projects. Secondly, the team will be modeling in detail the cascade of 6 mainstream dams upstream of Vientiane to understand the best means of managing and mitigating the cumulative impacts of these dams on a range of environmental variables including fisheries, sediment and river morphology, water quality, etc.
The Guidelines and Knowledge base will form a comprehensive guide for use in the Mekong basin. Training and consultation will form a major part of this work throughout the project. The Knowledge base is to be presented in a readily accessible manner for practitioners in the region.
2nd Interim Report - Final
Volume 2 – Version 1.0 – The Manual –Key Hydropower Risks, Impacts and Vulnerabilities and General Mitigation Options for Lower Mekong