Improving hydropower through long-range drought forecasts
Changing climatic conditions pose extra challenges for hydropower plant operators.
This allows reliable predictions of water scarcity over a period of up to three weeks.
Massimiliano Zappa of WSL, who heads the project, explains the advantage of such forecasts: "With climate change, dry spells will become more frequent and intensive, and will last longer."
This information is particularly useful for operators of reservoir power stations.
"But up to now, forecasts have generally not been made over such long periods because of the high complexity and enormous amounts of data," says Zappa.
Drought is easier to predict than precipitation, which can only be reliably forecasted up to five days at most.
Previously, Switzerland had no system capable of monitoring these local variables efficiently.
Making optimal use of available water Long-range forecasts of inflow and outflow in the catchment areas of hydropower stations can be combined with predictions of price developments on the energy market to optimise operation and profitability.
This is very important for the hydropower industry, which has come under pressure," says Frédéric Jordan, CEO of Hydrique Ingéniers, the industrial partner responsible for the economic calculations.
It is in society’s interest that hydropower plants be able to predict the availability of water and convert the stored water into electricity when market demand is high.
Regional plan for the Mekong has failed
Much has been written about the building of hydropower dams in the upper reaches of the Mekong River and their role in causing droughts in the Mekong delta region in Vietnam.
The drought also had major economic, social and environmental impacts as it severely affected Vietnam’s coffee, rice and shrimp production and exports.
Last year’s El Nino-induced drought seriously reduced robusta coffee production in the central highlands and rice yields in the delta region.
But it can take steps to make agricultural practices more water-efficient.
As for the construction of hydropower dams by China, which many claim has been solely responsible for reduced water availability in the Mekong delta region, we must realise that demand for electricity and water in Mekong countries – China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – is increasing steadily.
But will the push for hydropower cause more droughts in Vietnam?
After electricity is generated, water is discharged into the river.
This is to say, if dams are built only to generate electricity in the upper reaches of the Mekong and its tributaries in China, Laos and Thailand, they are unlikely to reduce the flow of water in the delta in the dry season.
So the riparian countries should urgently work on a coordinated and sustainable development plan for the Mekong region so as to realise the full potential of the river’s system.
Cecilia Tortajada is a senior research fellow at Institute of Water Policy at the same school, and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Water Resources Development.
NZC meeting: Rajnath advises CMs
NZC meeting: Rajnath advises CMs.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday advised all the Chief Ministers to ensure “comfortable environment” for Kashmiri students and workers in their states as there have been incidents of their harassment at some places.
The advisory came after a group of Kashmiris studying at Mewar University in Rajasthan’s Chhittorgarh district were last month allegedly thrashed by a group of unidentified locals.
The accused were arrested a few days later.
Secretary of the Inter-state Council Secretariat, Sanjeevani Kutty, while talking to the mediapersons here on Friday said, “The Union Minister has advised all the Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries at the NZC meet that they should take care of the youth of Kashmir, wherever they are studying and they should be treated well and should be made feel welcomed.” “The Home Minister has told the State authorities that the Kashmiris should be provided comfortable environment wherever they are…
They may be working or studying, they should be extended warmth.
This was an important message he gave to all the representatives present from different State Governments in the meeting,” she said.
She added, “The Minister stressed that all youth of India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari are our own children and should be treated accordingly.” Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, said, “A lot of Kashmiris are studying outside the state of Kashmir, especially in the northern region.
There have been some incidents which the central government was very concerned about and sought the support of CMs on this issue.” Besides Rajnath Singh, those who attended the meeting included Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore, who is also Chandigarh’s Administrator, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Punjab Chief Minister Capt.
In a major step forward, all the member states unanimously agreed to jointly tackle the problem of water pollution under the guidance of Central Pollution Control Board, she said.
Northern states resolve to jointly tackle water pollution
chandigarh, May 12 The northern states today unanimously agreed to jointly tackle the problem of water pollution as per the guidance of the central pollution control board. This was decided at a meeting of the Northern Zonal Council (NZC), chaired by Union home minister Rajnath Singh and attended by chief ministers of Haryana and Punjab, deputy chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, several ministers of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi. There are interstate problem of effluents generated from industrial areas as well as from sewage from towns draining in rivers Yamuna and Ghaggar as well as canals of Rajasthan. In a major step forward, all member states unanimously agreed to jointly tackle the problem of water pollution under the guidance of central pollution control board, an official statement said. For export promotion of fruits, flowers and vegetables, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has sanctioned projects to Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. The states were urged to try to settle the contentious…
Northern states resolve to jointly tackle water pollution
Chandigarh, May 12 (PTI) The northern states today unanimously agreed to jointly tackle the problem of water pollution as per the guidance of the central pollution control board. This was decided at a meeting of the Northern Zonal Council (NZC), chaired by Union home minister Rajnath Singh and attended by chief ministers of Haryana and Punjab, deputy chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, several ministers of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi. There are interstate problem of effluents generated from industrial areas as well as from sewage from towns draining in rivers Yamuna and Ghaggar as well as canals of Rajasthan. In a major step forward, all member states unanimously agreed to jointly tackle the problem of water pollution under the guidance of central pollution control board, an official statement said. For export promotion of fruits, flowers and vegetables, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has sanctioned projects to Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. The states were urged to try to settle the contentious matters…
Nation should treat Kashmiris decently: Rajnath
Nation should treat Kashmiris decently: Rajnath.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that students and youth of Kashmir wherever they are in the country should be treated nicely and decently and provided comfortable environment.
Rajnath said this while attending the Northern Zonal Council meeting here on Friday.
The 28th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council consisted of the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh under the chairmanship of Rajnath.
The meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Punjab, Administrator of Union Territory of Chandigarh, Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Delhi, Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Ministers of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi as well as the senior officers from Central and state Governments.
The Zonal Council discussed and deliberated upon 18 items of common interest among the member states.
The major items discussed were ‘Need for fiscal and infrastructural harmony in Northern States, Joint efforts for export of fruits, flowers and vegetables from the states, sharing of water of various rivers of the region and also hydropower among states, controlling pollution in the region by setting up Common Effluent Treatment Plants and Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) for disposal of hazardous waste, contamination of water in canals of Rajasthan off-taking from Harike Barrage and setting up of mini hydel projects on Bhakra Main Line Canal at 27 Sites with total 63.75 MW of power in Punjab.
The five Zonal Councils were set up under the States Reorganization Act, 1956 to foster Inter-state cooperation and coordination among the states.
Nine meetings of various zonal councils and 11 meetings of their Standing Committees have been held since 2015.
Overall 699 issues were discussed in these meetings and 345 have been resolved.
Maximizing potential for healthy rivers and low-carbon energy
To provide the necessary resources for our growing communities, more river flows will be diverted for agriculture and industry, stored for drinking water, and harnessed to meet rising energy demands.
And how do we ensure that investments in hydropower are lower risk and realize a broader portfolio of benefits?
It requires reframing the challenge between development and rivers as one of system design — meaning, we must consider a comprehensive management system that balances the needs of energy and industry with what river basins need to remain healthy and thriving.
The business case builds from the 2015 Power of Rivers report and draws from the Conservancy’s 65-year history of providing evidence-based, bottom-line oriented solutions to balancing conservation and development needs.
Key findings suggest that the potential global economic benefits of widespread adoption of a system scale approach to hydropower planning and management are significant: even a 5 percent improvement in other water-management resources in hydropower-influenced basins would produce up to US$38 billion per year in additional benefits, a sum comparable to average annual investment in hydropower.
Hydropower by Design can guide site selection toward a portfolio of projects with a lower percentage of significant delays and cost overruns due to environmental and social risks.
System scale thinking: essential to increasing investment benefits, minimizing risk Across renewable energy sources, it’s critical that we consider early planning and holistic approaches to avoid or mitigate impacts to our productive lands and waters.
Countries facing urgent demands to increase electricity generation are understandably hesitant to embark on a strategic planning process if they believe it will delay delivery of projects that can meet rising demand.
By drawing from integrated water-management, energy, and financial models, Hydropower by Design (HbD) can deliver useful insights about development and management options for governments, investors, and developers in a relatively short period of time.
And the potential to capture economic values beyond energy generation is substantial.
Drought Has Big Impact on California Power Market
Rain and snow has returned to California, ending the record-setting drought with record-setting precipitation.
The drought led to forest fires, dead orchards, and brown lawns.
It also took a big bite out of ratepayers’ wallets and increased global warming emissions, due to the loss of low-cost, zero-emission hydropower.
In a study released April 26 by Peter Gleick—a noted water expert at the Pacific Institute in Oakland—researchers found that lower hydropower production cost California ratepayers almost $2.5 billion in higher power prices, and may have raised power sector carbon dioxide emissions 10%, due to increased output from gas-fired generators.
Gleick’s team used data through September 2016 to calculate the figures.
California has 14 GW of hydro capacity, with little growth in recent decades due to environmental, economic, and political constraints.
Hydro output dropped by two-thirds between 2011 and 2016, losing a total of 65,600 GWh of low-cost, zero-emission electricity over the five-year drought.
According to Gleick’s report, the drop in hydroelectricity output was replaced by burning more natural gas, more imports from out-of-state sources, and growing levels of other renewable generation, especially wind and solar.
Retail power demand was almost completely flat through the drought, with a 3% dip in 2016.
To calculate the higher cost, Gleick first found the marginal cost of replacement power during the drought, which averaged $35/MWh.
California’s drought is over, but we’re still toting up the costs
Californians paid for the drought in many ways.
The impact on bills wasn’t enormous in the scheme of things: Last year alone Californians spent almost $39 billion on electricity, according to federal data.
Carbon emissions from the state’s power plants rose by 10 percent during the drought as utilities shifted to conventional sources like natural gas, the study said.
Although state officials say utilities are making progress toward meeting California’s mandates on reducing emissions and increasing the use of renewable power sources, Gleick said the hydro shortage represented a temporary setback.
That created cost impacts.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. raised rates 1.5 percent in 2014 to reflect the lack of hydro.
Roseville Electric, the city-owned utility, imposed a 2 percent drought surcharge in 2014.
PG&E’s rate increase for this year, which reflects last year’s costs, was dialed back to 0.25 percent.
Officials with the utilities said the changes reflect a return to normal or near-normal conditions at their hydro plants.
For instance, SMUD’s system of reservoirs and power plants on the American River has generated twice as much power this year as it did in all of 2015, said SMUD spokesman Chris Capra.
Personhood to rivers
Most of them have been deeply affected by deforestation, sand mining and extraction of materials from the riverbed.
To meet the demand, traders have been engaging in haphazard extraction of sand and pebbles from the rivers in different parts of Nepal.
There is a great risk of various hazardous diseases spreading in human settlements located on the banks of polluted rivers.
The squatters are also responsible for polluting the riverbanks, and they are the first to get affected by their actions.
Protecting water resources and the existing rivers should be the prime concern of the related government ministries, agencies, civil society and every citizen.
The government of Nepal has unveiled many plans, the Supreme Court has handed down various rulings regarding water and the environment, many workshops and seminars have been held on water resource conservation and the importance of water has been included in the school curriculum, but, as usual, there is no effective implementation of what has been said and learned.
Every individual is responsible for the polluted rivers in their country.
When rivers have been given the legal status of human beings in a neighbouring country and other states and countries have taken action to protect their rivers, we should at least respect what nature has given us and protect what we have.
We should not forget that rivers give us hydropower to light our homes, water to drink, water to irrigate our crops and water for various other purposes.
We should ask them about their roles and responsibilities until there is proper implementation of a mechanism to protect and conserve rivers which, in some countries, are treated as human beings.