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From Treatment To Tap: The Future For Micro-hydropower Installations In Water Infrastructure As Climate Change Impacts On Our Water Resources.

Congress: 2015
Author(s): John Gallagher (Bangor, UK)


Keyword(s): Sub-theme 17: Climate change, impacts and adaptation,
AbstractIn the UK, water companies are striving to meet ambitious targets for reducing GHG emissions by 2050. Implementing micro-hydropower (MHP) installations in their water networks have been recognised as a method of energy recovery and reducing the carbon footprint for the industry. However, the impacts of climate change on our water resources may affect the efficiency of MHP projects due to changes in water flows in our supply networks. This paper considers the link between climate change and energy recovery in two stages: (i) catchment modelling to examine future climate change impacts on reservoir levels, (ii) the knock-on effects for energy recovery through hydropower installations in water infrastructure. Future scenarios were considered to include the impacts of water metering, population growth and behavioural change on water flows and energy recovery. The EXP-HYDRO model was adopted to examine changes for hydrological inflows to reservoirs due to different future climate scenarios. The findings suggested that the magnitude and timing of hydrological flows affected the level of reservoirs and potential energy recovery. Determining the cumulative impacts of future water scenarios will help determine how it affects MHP continue to reduce the energy demands and carbon emissions associated with the water industry.
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