MARSEILLE, France 3/19/12 (PennWell) -- Efforts by the International Hydropower Association at the 6th World Water Forum have led to an announcement by Electricite de France confirming the utility's commitment to using and integrating IHA's Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.
IHA says its Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol covers the three pillars of sustainability, defined as the "social, economic and environmental" effects of a project and includes such issues as downstream flow regimes, indigenous peoples, biodiversity, infrastructure safety, resettlement, water quality, and erosion and sedimentation.
"For us, the important thing is the successful future of hydropower, and the future reality of hydropower development and operation is sustainability," says Xavier Ursat, EDF's deputy vice president of hydro generation and engineering. "The [assessment] is for us a means to realize this."
Implementation of the protocol in the European Union is supported through the Hydro4LIFE project, which receives half its funding from the European Commission's Life+Environment Policy and Government program, and the other half through IHA.
Ten international organizations and companies have already become early adopters by agreeing to implement the protocol at at least one hydropower project within their spheres of influence, IHA says.
These IHA Sustainability Partners include: EDF, E.ON, Itaipu Binacional, Hydro Equipment Association, Hydro Tasmania, Landsvirkjun, Manitoba Hydro, Odebrecht, Sarawak Energy and Statkraft.
The World Water Forum has been held every three years since 1997 and provides a forum for discussion about water-related issues.