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Hydropower helps manage water for energy and food

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) says hydropower is contributing to water, energy and food security.

By Kari Williamson

Following introductions by HRH the Prince of Orange, the Head of the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development, and the German Government (BMU), IHA was represented in a thought-leaders panel to debate the challenges that the world faces to achieve water, energy and food security.

Richard Taylor, IHA Executive Director, said: “Hydropower lies at the heart of the water, energy and food security nexus. Within the family of renewables, it offers huge potential, provided its multiple benefits are identified and distributed within the context of sustainability – this is why the hydro sector has committed to the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.”

Within the context of assessing the impacts of energy on water, Taylor warned that there was a danger of over simplification through a ‘footprinting’ approach: “We should take note of the advice of HRH the Prince of Orange and recognise the diversity of local realities. The impacts of energy, being both quantitative and qualitative, are far too complex to be captured in a single number.”

Taylor added that an evaluation framework for the impacts of energy on water was being developed as a target within the World Water Forum process. He urged interested parties to engage in this initiative.

The 10th Bonn Dialogues symposium formed a pre-conference event of the international Bonn 2011 Conference The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus. Solutions for the Green Economy on 16-18 November.

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