Melting glaciers may impact hydropower plans

The World Water Week has put the focus back into shrinking glaciers but the jury is still out on the impacts they will have on the flow in snow-fed rivers and hydropower generation. Glaciers are retreating due to climate change. What does that mean for water flow in the streams and rivers downhill? The effect is very varied, says Arthur Lutz of the Netherlands-based think tank Future Water. To start with, the importance of glacier meltwater to the rivers below is not the same everywhere, he said at a session on glaciers and hydropower at the ongoing World Water Week in Stockholm. It is far more important for rivers in the Indus basin than for those in the Ganga and Brahmaputra basins. Then, the effect of this glacier retreat also varies from catchment to catchment, he added.

Keep reading