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Sustainable Hydropower in Alpine Rivers Ecosystems

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Project summary

“Hydropower is the most important renewable resource for electricity production in the Alpine areas: it has advantages for the global CO2 balance but creates serious environmental impacts. RES-e Directives require a renewable electricity enhance but, at the same time, the Water Framework Directive obliges Member States to reach or maintain a water bodies “good” ecological status, intrinsically limiting the hydropower exploitation. Administrators daily face an increasing demand of water abstraction but lack reliable tools to rigorously evaluate their effects on mountain rivers and the social and economical outputs on longer time scale. The SHARE project intends to develop, test and promote a decision support system to merge on an unprejudiced base, river ecosystems and hydropower requirements. This approach will be led using existing scientific tools, adjustable to transnational, national and local normative and carried on by permanent panel of administrators and stakeholders.” Source: SHARE project summary





Results of a project can be differentiated in outputs, outcomes and impacts of an intervention. Source:OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management.

Output CategoryLanguage(s)Target groupRemark
SHARE HandbookReportENCivil servants / administration; specific institutions“A slim hypertext conceived as a tool to support sustainable river and hydropower management undertaken by local administrators, public and private consultants and other river stakeholders. […] The intention is to guide the reader in a simple way through the SHARE methodological approach, and the different tools and resources developed and tested during the SHARE cooperation project.” Source: SHARE Handbook
SESAMOToolENCivil servants / administration; specific institutionsA software (+ related handbook and dashboard test) to implement the Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) approach to assess and compare different alternatives related to hydropower exploitation and river management.
10 Pilot activities case studiesPilot activityENCivil servants / administration; specific institutionsThe SHARE MCA approach has been tested in 11 pilot case studies among the alpine regions (France>Arc-Isère,France>Var, Austria>Inn, Germany>Lech, Italy>Cordevole, Italy>Astico, Italy> Dora Baltea, Italy>Chalamy, Slovenia>Kokra, Austria>Mur) concerning both existing or planned HP plants. In general, case studies broadly represent common situations of HP.
2 geo-databasesDatabaseENCivil servants / administration; specific institutionsThe purpose is to facilitate information searches related to legislation and institutions/target individuals dealing with rivers and hydropower in the cooperation area. It is possible to add laws and contacts.
SHARE Guidelines to integrate MCA procedures in normative and set of lawsGuidelinesENPolicy makersThe purpose is to facilitate the use of the MCA methodology into national and transnational legislative frameworks.
SHARE Eco-investments, mitigations & restoration action reportBest practiceENCivil servants / administration; specific institutionsA review of measures for mitigation and compensation for negative effects of HP plants on pilot case study rivers.
VAPIDRO-ASTEToolENPlanners; civil servants / administration; specific institutionsA GIS tool designed to compute and evaluate the residual potential hydro power energy and to show the best locations for future projects.
Smart Mini HydroToolENPlanners; specific institutionsA user friendly software that helps the user as a first approach to begin a preliminary project, leading to a first analysis of the economic feasibility of HP plants.
CASiMiRToolENPlanners; civil servants / administration; specific institutionsSoftware composed of 2 modules that allow to assess the economic effects for hydropower production as a result of ecologically adjusted discharges in minimum flow studies and to assess habitat conditions for fish within a river channel and its bank areas.
Criteria for river vulnerability mapping & vulnerability checklistMethodologyENCivil servants / administration; specific institutionsThe purpose is to describe a set of methodological criteria for river vulnerability mapping in relation to hydropower exploitation. The checklist is available in Excel format to allow a vulnerability assessment at local scale defining a generic score and a short definition of the vulnerability degree of the river.
MIF definition and use for hydropower production reportLiterature reviewENCivil servants / administration; specific institutionsThe report describes the various methods used in the participating countries of SHARE to define Minimum Instream Flow (MIF) and possible methods to use it for HP production.
Discharge estimation in basins with no direct water flow monitoring reportLiterature reviewENCivil servants / administration; specific institutionsThe report describes various methods used in the participating countries of SHARE to examine water discharge in natural basins.
11 MapsMapENPlanners; civil servants / administration; specific institutionsThe maps display the following topics referred to the SHARE project area: * existing hydropower plant (installed power and annual hydropower produced (GWh/a)) * new HP plant demands -theoretical annual power produced (GWh/a) *residual HP potential * the most vulnerable river typologies to HP in Austrian, German, French and Slovenian Alps, Aosta Valley & Piedmont and South Tyrol
WFD, floods and others EU directives implementation in the AS technical reportLiterature reviewENPlanners; civil servants / administration; specific institutions“This document intends to describe the Water Framework Directive, Floods and other EU Directives related to waters and environment. Further it lists the strategies and policies in execution to implement the main steps of the Water Framework Directive within the involved SHARE countries. The information given to the various EU Directives is a condensed account.” Source: WFD, floods and others EU directives implementation in the AS technical report
SHARE videosPublic relationEN, FR, IT, DE, SLCivil society / citizensGeneral presentation of the context and the issues adressed by the project.
Indicator toolboxIndicatorENPlanners; civil servants / administration; specific institutions“A database of useable indicators for river and HP issues, including different criteria indicators used in SHARE Pilot Case Studies. Some indicators are quite frequently used in the Alpine countries following comprehensive scientific bibliographic research while some others have been developed for specific needs of SHARE Pilot Case Studies implementation.” Source: Indicator toolbox
SHARE PTP - Permanent Technical PanelNetworkENPlanners; civil servants / administration; specific institutions; scientistsPTP is an Alpine network linking together people working for public administrations, legal authorities, hydropower companies, environmental and fishing associations, research institutes of river ecology and hydraulic engineering.
Outcomes and Impacts

Unlike project outputs, outcomes and results cannot be described in a standardised way. Therefore, they are listed as free text:
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Accessibility of project results


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