Where does the benefit “flow” from a hydropower project and how does that affect implementation and sustainability of the project?

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Key Question Categor(ies):Hydropower - Dams - Infrastructure

Case Studies that Answer this Question:

From: Impacts of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on Downstream Countries

From: Integrated Joint Management Agreements of Mekong River Basin Riparians

From: Organization for the Development of the Senegal River
Mutually beneficial projects and integrated investments create good neighbors. As a result of the OMVS and the design and implementation of joint projects, the relations between the countries has improved and economic development has increased thereby making cooperation rather than conflict a meeting point with regards to the Senegal River.

From: The Lesotho Highlands Water Project
It is more economically sound to begin impact studies before nations start to construct projects. It was shown through the Lesotho Highlands Water Project that if impact studies are started after the initiation of a major hydro-project, the costs for the project go up as necessary components for the project may not have been considered pre-study. For the Phase II of the LHWP, studies are being conducted to judge the feasibility of a project that was designed more than 15 years to ago to investigate in a more comprehensive manner the possible impacts of the project.

From: US-Canada Columbia River Management

From: Yarlung Zangbo / Brahmaputra River: Competing Priorities of Hydropower and Agriculture
While the benefits of electricity generation can create a positive impact at the regional or national level, the disadvantages of hydropower generation (such as reduced river flow) can impact those populations living closest or downstream of a hydropower project.