30 per cent hydro power plants in South Asia exposed to risk of above-normal rainfall: Researchers : The Tribune India

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30 per cent hydro power plants in South Asia exposed to risk of above-normal rainfall: Researchers

Countries facing the highest flood risks are India, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Thailand and Cambodia

30 per cent hydro power plants in South Asia exposed to risk of above-normal rainfall: Researchers

Photo for representational purpose only. iStock



Tribune News Service

Vijay Mohan

Chandigarh, April 2

Cautioning that India would be the worst affected by climate change, researchers have brought out that nearly 30 percent of hydropower plants in South Asia are exposed to more than 50 percent probability of receiving above-normal precipitation, especially in parts of India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan.  

Observing that monsoon anomalies are key drivers of climate risk in Asia, they have said that about six percent of hydropower plants in this region are exposed to below-normal precipitation, mainly in India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

“Both above-normal and below-normal precipitation increase the risk to hydropower generation along with related facilities and services. Overlaying the hydropower energy infrastructure data on the precipitation outlook brings forth the hotspots that need attention,” a paper titled “Impact outlook of Asian monsoon for disaster resilience,” states.

The research, undertaken by Sanjay Srivastava and Sapna Dubey from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, has been published by the India Meteorological Department on March 31.

India ranks fifth globally for installed hydroelectric power capacity, with an output of over 46,000 MW or 12.3 percent of its total utility power generation capacity. Additional smaller hydroelectric power units with a total capacity of 4,683 MW have also been installed. India’s hydroelectric power potential is estimated at 1,48,700 MW.

Climate change poses potential risk and hazards for various sectors such as agriculture, energy, health, water and disaster management, and to overcome the limitations of accuracy and information available from seasonal forecasts, a seamless integration of seasonal and sub-seasonal as well as medium and short term forecasts with data on potential impact is required, the paper states.

The paper points out that globally, 10 out of the top 15 countries with the most people and economies exposed to annual river floods are in the Asia-Pacific region. Countries facing the highest flood risks in the region are India, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Thailand and Cambodia.

Observing forecasts of a substantial increase in flood-related losses, with problems expected to become worse by 2030, the paper said that China, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan will experience losses two to three times greater than in the reference year of 2010. 

“Under the severe climate change scenario, India will be the worst affected, with annual losses of nearly 50 billion US Dollars, followed by China, Bangladesh and   Pakistan,” the paper states.  

“Under the moderate and severe climate change scenarios, the transboundary flood losses will be 2 to 6 times greater in the Ganga-Brahmaputra and Meghna basin, 1.5 to 5 times in the Indus basin, 1.2 to 2 times in the Mekong basin and 1.1 to 1.5 times in the Amur basin,” the paper adds.

“Hence, impact-based forecasting and early warning systems must be adequately integrated at all levels for policymakers to boost the resilience and preparedness of communities at risk,” the paper stresses.

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