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Water Consumption from Hydropower Plants – Review of Published Estimates and an Assessment of the Concept : Volume 10, Issue 6 (24/06/2013)

By Bakken, T. H.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004011831
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 45
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Water Consumption from Hydropower Plants – Review of Published Estimates and an Assessment of the Concept : Volume 10, Issue 6 (24/06/2013)  
Author: Bakken, T. H.
Volume: Vol. 10, Issue 6
Language: English
Subject: Science, Hydrology, Earth
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Historic
Publication Date:
2013
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications

Citation

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Engeland, K., Bakken, T. H., Alfredsen, K., Harby, A., & Killingtveit, Å. (2013). Water Consumption from Hydropower Plants – Review of Published Estimates and an Assessment of the Concept : Volume 10, Issue 6 (24/06/2013). Retrieved from http://hawaiilibrary.net/


Description
Description: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, 7491 Trondheim, Norway. Since the report from IPCC on renewable energy (IPCC, 2012) was published; more studies on water consumption from hydropower have become available. The newly published studies do not, however, contribute to a more consistent picture on what the true water consumption from hydropower plants is. The dominant calculation method is the gross evaporation from the reservoirs divided by the annual power production, which appears to be an over-simplistic calculation method that possibly produces a biased picture of the water consumption of hydropower plants. This review paper shows that the water footprint of hydropower is used synonymously to water consumption, based on gross evaporation rates.

This paper also documents and discusses several methodological problems when applying this simplified approach (gross evaporation divided by annual power production) for the estimation of water consumption from hydropower projects. A number of short-comings are identified, including the lack of clarity regarding the setting of proper system boundaries in space and time. The methodology of attributing the water losses to the various uses in multi-purpose reservoirs is not developed. Furthermore, a correct and fair methodology for handling water consumption in reservoirs based on natural lakes is needed, as it appears meaningless that all the evaporation losses from a close to natural lake should be attributed to the hydropower production. It also appears problematic that the concept is not related to the impact the water consumption will have on the local water resources, as high water consumption values might not be problematic per se. Finally, it appears to be a paradox that a reservoir might be accorded a very high water consumption/footprint and still be the most feasible measure to improve the availability of water in a region. We argue that reservoirs are not always the problem; rather they may contribute to the solution of the problems of water scarcity. The authors consider that an improved conceptual framework is needed in order to calculate the water footprint from hydropower projects in a more reasonable way.


Summary
Water consumption from hydropower plants – review of published estimates and an assessment of the concept

Excerpt
Hveding, Q.: Hydropower development in Norway (Vol.~1), Norwegian Institute of Technology, Division of Hydraulic Engineering, Trondheim, Norway, 1992.; Agder Energi: available at: www.ae.no/ae/english/, last access: 21~May~2013.; Andrah Pradesh (India): State Water Policies and the National Water Policy for water management practices, available at: http://wrmin.nic.in/writereaddata/linkimages/anu29668628373.pdf, last access: 21~May~2013.; Arnøy, S.: Water Footprint Approaches in Life Cycle Assessment: State-of-the-Art and a Case Study of Hydroelectric Generation in the Høyanger Area, Master's thesis at Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), Dept.~of Ecology and Natural Resources Management (INA), Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway, 2012.; Bakken, T. H., Zinke, P., Melcher, A., Sundt, H., Vehanen, T., Jorde, K., and Acreman, M.: Setting Environmental Flows in Regulated Rivers, SINTEF report Serial No.~TR~A7246, SINTEF, Trondheim, Norway, 2012.; Bakken, T. H., Killingtveit, Å., Engeland, K., Alfredsen, K., and Harby, A.: Water consumption from hydropower production: review of published estimates, accepted for publication in proceedings of IAHS-IAPSO-IASPEI Assembly, Gothenburg, Sweden, July~2013, IAHS Publ., 362, 1–6, 2013a.; Bakken, T. H., Skarbøvik, E., Gosain, A. K., Palanisami, K., Sauterleute, J., Egeland, H., Kakumanu, K. R., Nagothu, U. S., Harby, A., Tirupataiah, K., and Stålnacke, P.: Optimizing water allocation with use of the Building Block Methodology (BBM), J. Hydroenviron. Res., submitted, 2013b.; Bates, B. C., Kundzewicz, Z. W., Wu, S., and Palutikof, J. P. (Eds.): Climate Change and Water, Technical Paper of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC Secretariat, Geneva, 210 pp., 2008.; Beldring, S., Roald, L. A., and Voksø, A.: Avrenningskart for Norge, Årsmiddelverdier for avrenning 1961–1990, Norges vassdrags- og energidirektorat, Oslo, Norway, 2002.; Berger, M. and Finkbeiner, M.: Water footprinting: how to address water use in life cycle assessment?, http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/4/919, last access: June~2013, Sustainability, 2, 919–944, 2010.; Inhaber, H.: Water use in renewable and conventional electricity production, Energ. Source., 26, 309–322, 2004.; Demeke, T. A., Marence, M., and Munett, A. E.: Evaporation from reservoirs and the hydropower water footprint, in: Proceedings from Africa 2013, 16–18~April~2013, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2013.; Fthenakis, V. and Kim, H. C.: Life-cycle uses of water in US electricity generation, Renew. Sust. Energ. Rev., 14, 2039–2048, 2010.; Gabrielsen, R. H. and Grue, J. (Eds.): Norwegian Energy Policy in Context of the Global Energy Situation, The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Oslo, Norway, 2012.; Gerbens-Leenes, P. W., Hoekstra, A. Y., and van der Meer, Th.: The water footprint of energy from biomass: a~quantitative assessment and consequences of an increasing share of bio-energy in energy supply, Ecol. Econ., 68, 1052–1060, 2009.; Gleick, P. H.: Environmental consequences of hydroelectric development: the role of facility size and type, J. Energy., 17, 735–747, 1992.; Gleick, P. H.: Water in Crisis: A~Guide to the World's Fresh Water Resources, Oxford Universit

 

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