Large-scale water storage in the water, energy and food nexus: Perspectives on benefits, risks and best practice

Working Paper English Published: November 2012

This paper provides an overview of the current status of large scale artificial water storage development and its functions in the water, energy and food security nexus.

– Large-scale water storage supports economic development, builds water security and buffers against increasing rainfall variability.
– Well-designed water storage and hydropower systems can enhance both climate change adaptation and mitigation, but such systems must also plan for a more extreme and variable climate.
– Environmental and social consequences at the local and regional levels need to be addressed up-front when developing water storage.
– There are several ways to mitigate negative impacts from water storage in the project design, implementation and initial planning stages.
– Expected benefits from initial stages of storage projects planning may at times promise too much, but there are also cases where outcomes exceed expectations.