Hydropower is essential to fulfill future energy demands. Water scarcity is likely to increase due to climate change and aase in water demand. Therefore, Climate Risk Assessments are required before large investments in new and large hydropower stations (>100 MW) are made. Small hydropower (1 – 20 MW) does not require these Climate Risk Assessments yet, but this will eventually happen in the future. Investors are highly interested in the profitability of these small hydropower stations, especially because of the uncertainty caused by future climate change. Current methods for Climate Risk Assessments (CRA) are however still too costly for these small-hydro projects because they are very labor intensive and require specific knowledge.

FutureWater has carried out a feasibility study to assess the possibilities for the development of a “Small-Hydro Climate Risk Assessment tool” (SH-CRA) that can make CRA’s for small-hydro projects cost effective. The starting point of this project to develop the SH-CRA is the recent change in the approach to CRA’s: until a few years ago, these were based purely on climate models, also known as the “Top-down” approach. Nowadays however, investors require a more pragmatic approach in which climate risks are balanced against other risks and presented in a clear way. This new “Bottom-up” approach makes it possible for small-hydro projects to include climate risks in the investment decision.

This feasibility project has therefore investigated whether the “bottom-up” climate risk analysis approach can make it possible to develop such a SH-CRA solution, based on a combination of literature research, an inventory of available technology and potential partners, and competition analysis.

This course on hydrology and water allocation modelling is organized for the Kenya Water Resources Authority (WRA) and funded by the Blue Deal program of the Netherlands. The first four-week course block introduces the participants to the main concepts in hydrology, hydrological modelling and data collection, including remote sensing. Exercises are provided on water balances, land use datasets, extraction of rainfall data from remote sensing datasets, among others.

The 5-week second block of the training is on the use of a water resources system model (WEAP) for water allocation. Participants will learn how to develop, run and evaluate a model, including scenario analysis, water balances, assess impact of changing priorities among users, and impacts on water shortage. The learned skills will be used afterwards for establishing a Water Allocation Plan for an important sub-basin of the Upper Tana river, providing water to many livelihoods in the catchment itself, but also to Nairobi city.

Does drip irrigation lead to real water savings? What is the impact of changing the irrigation efficiency on basin scale water flows? How can water managers implement water savings technologies that lead to real water savings? FutureWater provided eTrainings to water managers from Vietnam and Malaysia about these subjects. A training manual and several supporting material such as presentations, videos, reports and papers were provided to train the water managers on water productivity and real water savings in agricultural systems.

FutureWater with the support of FAO-RAP (Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific) provided eTrainings on Real Water Savings to water managers in Vietnam and Malaysia. The training package developed under the on-going FAO project was implemented. Interactive video sessions, weekly activities, and educational videos were provided through the FutureWater Moodle School platform.

Over 30 participants from Malaysia, and over 25 participants from Vietnam successfully followed the eTraining on real water savings in agricultural systems. Participants learned about the impact of field scale crop-water interventions on basin scale water savings and learned how to determine the water productivity and real water savings with the REWAS tool.

Testimonies:

  • “Thank you for conducting this very useful course. This course really opened my eyes on the important of water security in hydrology cycle. I learnt so many new things and new elements in calculating the water saving in water budget”
  • “Learning sessions are great, and the information/technical approaches shared from the speakers are very useful. Extremely appreciate it. Thanks”
  • “I am the leader of some academic projects about the establishment of water-saving irrigation process and after this course am going to apply the knowledge to my projects.”

 

Screenshot of the eLearning training using the FutureWater Moodle School platform.

 

In 2016, FutureWater released a new dataset: HiHydroSoil v1.2, containing global maps with a spatial resolution of 1 km of soil hydraulic properties to support hydrological modeling. Since then, the maps of the HiHydroSoil v1.2 database have been used a lot in hydrological modeling throughout the world in numerous (scientific) projects. A few examples of the use of HiHydoSoil v1.2 are shown in the report.

Important input of the HiHydroSoil database is ISRICS’ SoilGrids database: a high resolution dataset with soil properties and classes on a global scale. In May 2020, ISRIC has released the latest version (v2.0) of its Soilgrids250m product. This release has made it possible for FutureWater to update its HiHydroSoil v1.2 database with newer, more precise and with a higher resolution soil data, which resulted in the development and release of HiHydroSoil v2.0.

Soil information is the basis for all environmental studies. Since local soil maps of good quality are often not available, global soil maps with a low resolution are used. Furthermore, soil maps do not include information about soil hydraulic properties, which are of importance in, for example, hydrological modeling, erosion assessment and crop yield modelling. HiHydroSoil v2.0 can fill this data gap. HiHydroSoil v2.0 includes the following data:

  • Organic Matter Content
  • Soil Texture Class
  • Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity
  • Mualem van Genuchten parameters Alfa and N
  • Saturated Water Content
  • Residual Water Content
  • Water content at pF2, pF3 and pF4.2
  • Hydrologic Soil Group (USDA)

Download HiHydroSoil v2.0

The HiHydroSoil v2.0 database can be accessed after filling the brief request form below. A download link to the full dataset will then be provided. The HiHydroSoil v2.0 dataset is organized in two folders, one containing the original data for each of the six depths, and one with the aggregated subsoil and topsoil data. All data layers are delivered in geotiff raster format.

Important! To avoid lengthy download times, the data layers originally consisting of float data type were multiplied by a factor of 10,000, and subsequently converted to integer type. It is therefore required to translate the data to the proper units by multiplying with 0.0001. These steps are also described in the readme file delivered with the data.

Today, FutureWater has released a new high resolution dataset containing global maps for Soil Hydraulic Properties: HiHydroSoil v2.0! It is the second generation HiHydroSoil dataset, after the first release in 2016. HiHydroSoil v2.0 is a definite upgrade of the first version, since it is build with higher quality input layers and with a higher spatial resolution of 250 m.

In 2016, FutureWater released a new dataset: HiHydroSoil v1.2, containing global maps with a spatial resolution of 1 km of soil hydraulic properties to support hydrological modeling. Since then, the maps of the HiHydroSoil v1.2 database have been used a lot in hydrological modeling throughout the world in numerous (scientific) projects. A few examples of the use of HiHydoSoil v1.2 are shown in the report.

Important input of the HiHydroSoil database is ISRICS’ SoilGrids database: a high resolution dataset with soil properties and classes on a global scale. In May 2020, ISRIC has released the latest version (v2.0) of its Soilgrids250m product. This release has made it possible for FutureWater to update its HiHydroSoil v1.2 database with newer, more precise and with a higher resolution soil data, which resulted in the development and release of HiHydroSoil v2.0.

Soil information is the basis for all environmental studies. Since local soil maps of good quality are often not available, global soil maps with a low resolution are used. Furthermore, soil maps do not include information about soil hydraulic properties, which are of importance in, for example, hydrological modeling, erosion assessment and crop yield modelling. HiHydroSoil v2.0 can fill this data gap. HiHydroSoil v2.0 includes the following data:

  • Organic Matter Content
  • Soil Texture Class
  • Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity
  • Mualem van Genuchten parameters Alfa and N
  • Saturated Water Content
  • Residual Water Content
  • Water content at pF2, pF3 and pF4.2
  • Hydrologic Soil Group (USDA)
Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity (m/d) of the Topsoil (0-30 cm).

The HiHydroSoil v2.0 database can be accessed through the FutureWater website (also attached to this news article): https://www.futurewater.eu/projects/hihydrosoil/. After filling the brief request from, a download link to the full dataset will be provided. The HiHydroSoil v2.0 dataset is organized in two folders, one containing the original data for each of the six depths, and one with the aggregated subsoil and topsoil data. All data layers are delivered in geotiff raster format.

Important! To avoid lengthy download times, the data layers originally consisting of float data type were multiplied by a factor of 10,000, and subsequently converted to integer type. It is therefore required to translate the data to the proper units by multiplying with 0.0001. These steps are also described in the readme file delivered with the data.

Does drip irrigation lead to real water savings? What is the impact of changing the irrigation efficiency on basin scale water flows? How can water managers implement water savings technologies that lead to real water savings? Several of such questions were discussed during a recent webinar.

FutureWater in collaboration with the FAO Near East and North Africa Regional Office provided this webinar on Real Water Savings. The various tools developed under the on-going FAO project (https://www.futurewater.eu/projects/training-package-for-water-productivity-and-real-water-savings/) were presented. Its relevance for the Near East and North Africa region was demonstrated by showcasing several case studies of water savings technologies (such as drip irrigation) and using the newly developed Excel-based REWAS tool to provide an assessment of field and basin scale water saved. The webinar ended with a lively discussion on the applicability of these tools for the Near East and North Africa region context. We look forward to following up on several of the opportunities and issues raised during this discussion.

Screenshot of the webinar, with our colleagues Jonna van Opstal and Peter Droogers

FutureWater in Mozambique had yet another successful partnership added to its already extensive collaborative activities with this Southern African country. ARA-Sul, the waterboard responsible for water management in the region around Maputo, received an eLearning course on supporting water allocation permit decisions using the WEAP tool. This training was a continuation of collaboration with the same waterboard in 2015, with the main difference that because of the COVID-19 situation, all training was developed and delivered as eLearning.

The intensive training took place within a time frame of 3 weeks with collective video meetings twice a week for one to two hours using Zoom. Participants were enthusiastic that they could do the training assignments at their own premises and in their own pace. “Training material was really of good quality and with a wide variation of training manuals, YouTube instruction videos, set of reference documents, and PowerPoints recordings”, said one of the trainees.

The training was setup in the context of the Blue-Deal initiative, a collaboration between Water Boards in Mozambique and in the Netherlands. At the end of the training participants were able to run the WEAP model and to evaluate inputs and explore outputs of various water allocation scenarios.

Printscreen of the WEAP model used for the training

 

FutureWater completed two eLearning courses on hydrology and on climate change for staff of PLN. PLN (Perusahaan Listrik Negar) is the biggest electricity company in Indonesia. PLN is increasingly expanding its activities to hydropower and therefore additional training needs on hydrology and climate change was needed. FutureWater developed and delivered those trainings to PLN in an eLearning setting using tailored-made training material.

“I’d never imagined that eLearning could be so effective and enjoyable”, was the response of one of the 45 trainees. Training material was developed with specific focus on studying by participants individually and at their own pace. Each study session of eight hours was supported by one to two hours of collective video meetings using Zoom. “Preparing training material took much more effort compared to a traditional (live) training”, said Peter Droogers of FutureWater. “But the benefit is that training material could be reused by other groups”, he added.

The overall feedback of the 45 participants was overwhelmingly positive. FutureWater will continue developing and delivering eLearning courses as long as covid-19 travel restrictions are in place, and most likely even beyond.

Printscreen of one of the eLearning training lessons provided by our colleague Peter Droogers (top left).

 

The overall aim of the Guidance is to supporting adaptation decision making for climate-resilient investments with the main objective to scale-up ADB’s investments in climate change adaptation in Asia and the Pacific. The Good Practice Guidance on climate-resilient infrastructure design and associated training modules will help project teams to incorporate climate projections information into project design. The guideline is based both on insights gained by experts in supporting climate-resilient project development, and on state-of-the-art reviews of emerging engineering design and decision-making protocols that reflect the impacts of climate change. Sector guidance will be provided for agriculture and food security, energy, transport, urban development, and water. FutureWater takes the lead in the water sector guidance.

Training modules targeting member countries officials and ADB operational staff involved in the design of resilient infrastructure projects will be developed to facilitate the wider dissemination of, and capacity building around, the good practice guidance and enhanced availability of climate projections data. Training modules will be developed for both in person delivery at training sessions and distance learning to enable on-demand technical capacity building. The format of the in-person training sessions will be determined in consultation with the operational teams and could take a “training of trainers” approach.

Indonesia is endowed with a full range of both renewable and fossil resources of energy, actively exploited to feed its growing economy. Emphasis has been on fossil, hydroelectric and geothermal resources rather than wind and solar. PLN (Perusahaan Listrik Negara) is the Indonesian State Electricity Company. It is an Indonesian government-owned corporation which has a monopoly on electricity distribution in Indonesia and generates the majority of the country’s electrical power, producing about 175 TWh annually. Only a small fraction of this originates from hydropower.

Indonesia has five large hydropower plants with a capacity over 250 MW: Cirata on Java (1008 MW), Saguling on Java (701 MW), Tangga on Sumatra (317 MW), Sigura-gura on Sumatra (286 MW), and Pamona on Sulawesi (260 MW). The Indonesian government aims to develop more hydropower with quite a strong focus on small and micro hydropower plants.

Capacity of PLN staff to understand the hydrology related to hydropower electricity generation needs to be enhanced. Also, the knowledge of the potential impact of climate change on hydropower requires additional capacity of PLN’s staff. Especially their ability to understand and judge feasibility studies undertaken by external consultants requires upgrading their level of knowledge. Also staffs’ capacity to understand climate risk assessment studies, as today required by most investors, should be further developed.

FutureWater was asked to develop and provide training on those two aspects (hydrology and climate change). Given the huge area of the country and PLN staff working in large distances from each other, it was decided to provide training in a eLearning setting. Initially about 25 staff will be trained and based on lessons learnt the training package will be adjusted to staff needs and further training will be undertaken.