After quite some time NRMGroup is back to Hanoi for a joint workshop with the Hanoi University of Natural Resources and the Environment (HUNRE), a young and dynamic university recently funded under the MONRE (Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment). The workshop, organized with the support of the Italian Embassy in Hanoi ,focused on recent research results on the two main Vietnamese river basins, Mekong and Red River, with HUNRE colleagues, and researchers from NAWAPI and WRI. The workshop was also a great of opportunity of reunion with former NRMGroup PhD students, Dr. Van Ahn Truong, now lecturer and head of faculty at HUNRE (congratulations Van Ahn!).
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Dams in the Mekong Basin are mostly planned project-by-project and without strategic analysis of their cumulative impacts on river processes such as sediment connectivity. We analyse missed and future opportunities for reducing hydropower impacts on sediment connectivity through strategic planning of dams in the Se Kong, Se San and Sre Pok (‘3S’) tributaries of the lower Mekong, which are critically important as a source of sand for the Mekong Delta. With strategic planning, 68% of the hydropower potential of the 3S Basin could have been developed while trapping 21% of the basin’s sand load. The current dam portfolio resulting from project-by-project planning uses 54% of the hydropower potential while trapping 91% of the sand load. Results from the 3S demonstrate that strategic network-scale planning is crucial for developing lower-impact hydropower, a relevant finding given the at least 3,700 major dams that are proposed worldwide. More HERE
Andrea Castelletti has been invited to the Ezra’s Round Table System Seminar series at Cornell University to talk about the NRM group’s research on the Italian lake district. The title of the talk was Soft-Path solutions for hard water problems: a journey in the drying Italian sub-alpine lake district. Ongoing changes in global climate are altering the hydrologic regime, expanding historically observed variability as well as increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme events. Evidence of this emerging behavior has been observed worldwide, including traditionally flood sensitive regions, such as the Italian Alps, where intensive droughts have repeatedly challenged agricultural and hydropower production in the last decade. Extensive model-based analyses carried out by the NRM group show that a soft-path approach can substantially mitigate the impact of changing climate, and help contrasting increasingly frequent and impacting droughts with little financial investment but a substantial shift in the existing water governance. The webcast of the talk is available here
Andrea Castelletti has been awarded a Mary Upson visiting professorship at Cornell University. Andrea will be working for the next two months with the group of Pat Reed reinforcing ongoing collaboration and planning the next steps of a so far highly productive and intense partnership. As part of the appointment, Andrea will deliver a seminar at the Ezra’s Round Table Systems Seminar Series on complex hydro-environmental systems control. Federica will join Cornell as well at the beginning of August to start exploring the use of parallel evolutionary algorithm in jointly planning and operating multi-dam systems.