Hydro power projects in Himalayan region face flood risk

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Potential hydro power projects in the Himalayan region would need to factor in chances of increased floods from the formation of new lakes and the expansion of existing ones due to melting glaciers, says an analysis of Himalayan glaciers and their possible future impact on livelihoods in States adjoining the region. The results are part of a modelling study by Swiss researchers on the impact of climate change in the Himalayas.

According to the study, 441 hydro power projects spanning India, Nepal, Pakistan and China, that is, 66 per cent of the constructed and the potential projects, are on possible Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) tracks. This means they could be gorged with extra water from melting glaciers. Almost a third of these projects could experience GLOF discharges well above what these dams account for, says a study.

“If hydro power projects were to be situated close to these glaciers, they would have to account for higher water flows,” said Dr. Markus Stoffel from the University of Geneva, lead scientist with the study. “But that does not mean they cannot be built. It might need extra design or safety features.”

Read more here: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/Hydro-power-projects-in-Himalayan-region-face-flood-risk/article16692152.ece

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