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Special Issue "Hydropower Production"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Pedro F. A. Manso

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: dams and hydraulic structures; hydropower (large/small/pumped-storage); hydrology and water resources; hydraulic modelling; rock scour; sediment management; air-water-rock interaction; fluid-structure/interface interaction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hydropower is the most globally-spread renewable energy source, as well as the one with the largest share in the electricity global mix. The related infrastructure is deployed globally, and has been in technological development since the late 19th century. Its relevant role on anthropic activities, its impacts on human societies and on the natural environment is obviously not consensual. For sovereignty and/or social-economic development reasons, societies have been willing to invest significant shares of their resources, both natural and cultural, to deploy hydropower. External judgment on past and present choices is often controversial.

The focus of this Special Issue is on the compromise that must be sought between the benefits of hydropower infrastructure in terms of electricity generation, protection from water related hazards and of human development, and on the other hand, their footprint in terms of territory, ecological and human values. In developed regions, ageing infrastructure is not perennial, and its role is being revised according to changing legal, market, and climate conditions and today’s societal valuation of ecological values. In developing regions, lost time in infrastructure implementation is seen as worse than poorly complying, or being average, with respect to known best practices. Public authorities, international institutions, engaged stakeholders and common citizens have to make choices and find compromises with decades-long, if not century-long implications, which makes this issue an object of passionate debate.

The scope of the target publications should be on solutions that are being developed or have been found and implemented, as well as their monitoring, to address the abovementioned dilemma, faced by stakeholders in the water and energy sectors. We are interested to learn your experiences in finding new agreements between utility, security and ecology, in different geographies. Ideally, you could provide tangible evidence on how, in different contexts, the need for development of local societies is being equated with the lessons learned and the transfer of practices across the globe. No solution fits all cases and, therefore, research should help in establishing objective methodologies to monitor the footprint and performance of infrastructure, and assist in finding trade-off relationships between the multiple uses and needs related with water and territory. Last, but not the least, the (long) time scale of analysis and impacts merits guaranteeing the availability, quality and accessibility of hydrometric and other relevant hydropower data, which should be explicitly mentioned and discussed in the submitted contributions.

We welcome contributions on:

  • Mitigation of hydropower footprint, in terms of hydropeaking attenuation, fish migration, sediment routing across watersheds, variable ecological flow and greenhouse gas balance of reservoirs and power plants;
  • The role of hydropower storage reservoirs and pumping stations in facilitating the integration of larger shares of intermittent renewable sources like solar and wind;
  • Balancing the positive and negative impacts of hydropower infrastructure in remote regions;
  • Energy recovery by hydropower within existing infrastructure (e.g., urban, industrial, transport)
  • The challenges and opportunities faced by hydropower under changing climate conditions.
  • The role of hydrometric data in territory and infrastructure policy making and management, as well as on sustainability assessment methodologies for well-informed decisions;
  • Transgenerational repartition of investment costs, social benefits and ecological footprint.
  • Other, related with hydropower production in its different topologies, operation modes, economic roles, social impacts, ecological trade-offs, heritages, asset values, risks and benefits.

Dr. Pedro F. A. Manso
Guest Editor


[1] International Hydropower Association - IHA (2010), Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol. Available online: http://www.hydrosustainability.org/Hydropower-Sustainablility-Assessment-Protocol/Documents.aspx (access on 25 August 2017).

[2] Manso, P.; Schleiss, A.; Stähli, M.; Avellan, F. Electricity supply and hydropower development in Switzerland. The Int. Journal of Hydropower and Dams 2016, 23, 41–47.

[3] Schaefli, B. Projecting hydropower production under future climates: a guide for decision‐makers and modelers to interpret and design climate change impact assessments. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water 2015, 2, 271–289.

[4] Bousquet, C.; Samora, I.; Manso, P.A.; Rossi, L.; Heller, P.; Schleiss, A. J. Assessment of hydropower potential in wastewater systems and application to Switzerland. Renewable Energy 2017, 113, 64–73, DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2017.05.062

[5] Samora, I.; Manso, P.; Franca, M.J.; Schleiss, A.J.; Ramos, H.M. Opportunity and economic feasibility of inline micro hydropower units in water supply networks. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 2016. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000700.

[6] Gurung A.B.; Borsdorf, A.; Füreder, L.; Kienast, F; Matt, P.; Scheidegger, C.; Schmocker, L.; Zappa, M.; Volkart, L. Rethinking pumped storage hydropower in the european alps. Mountain Research and Development 2016, 36, 222–232.

[7] Winemiller, K.O.; Mclntyre, P.B.; Castello, E.; Fluet-Chouinard, E.; Giarrizzo, T.; Nam, S.; Baird, I.G.; Darwall, W.; Lujan, N.K.; Harrison, I.; et al. Balancing hydropower and biodiversity in the Amazon, Congo, and Mekong. Science 2016, 351, 128–129.

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • water-related nexus utility-security-ecology
  • renewable electricity
  • energy recovery
  • energy storage
  • sediment balance
  • fish migration
  • hydropeaking
  • greenhouse gas balance
  • UN SD Goals

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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