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EUROSENSE is applying EO services for a better integration of Small-scaled Hydropower Plant development in water resources use and environment planning in Vietnam.

Vietnam boasts potential for about 30,000MW power generated by hydroelectric plants. The number of approved small-scaled hydroelectric projects in Vietnam has risen from 340 in 2005 to over 880, with a total capacity of over 5,880MW. However, the booming construction of Small-scaled Hydropower Plants (SHP’s) is gaining more and more critics due to its large impact on the direct environment (deforestation) and the area down-stream (impact on land use and floodings). In a new ESA-funded project called HYDREO, EUROSENSE is demonstrating the application of EO services to study the impact of SHP’s on the environment and the water resources.

According to Vietnam’s regulations, a hydroelectric project of less than 30 megawatts and using 10 hectares is classified as small-scaled. The Vietnamese minister of industry recently stated that: “Projects not remarkably contributing to the socio-economic development of localities where they are located, threatening the environment or flooding, will be stopped”. In November 2010, the VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS reported that “the government will continue putting the screws on small-scaled hydroelectric projects due to deforestation and environmental fears”.

In a new project called HYDREO, EUROSENSE is applying EO services for better integration of Small-scaled Hydropower Plant development in water resources use planning in Vietnam. In HYDREO, EUROSENSE will study the environmental impact of SHP’s in the Quang Nam province, along the shores of the Thu Bon river and its tributaries. The project has two main objectives:

  • Demonstrate a combination of EO-derived products that can support the decision-making process for permitting SHP-projects
  • Study on how the SHP-projects could be better managed, so that besides power generation, SHP’s also function as water reservoirs that contribute to the water resource management of floods and droughts.

Figure 1: Example of flood simulation from previous project: this flood hazard map represents a dam break during a 100 year flood event along the Danube river in Bratislava city after 48 hours with the water depth in colours blue. The location of the dam break is indicated in red.

EUROSENSE plans to achieve these objectives by quantifying the impact of the construction of SHP’s on the land cover in its direct environment, as well as in the area downstream of the SHP’s. This will be based on multi-temporal and multi-resolution land cover and land use maps, correlating land changes with SHP’s construction. Different flood scenarios will be simulated to see the impact of the changing land cover and adapted SHP management on flood extents.

Figure 2: Example of land cover map from previous project: Pixel-based Land Cover classification in Concepciòn, Chile, based on Landsat 7 scenes from 2001.

EUROSENSE combines the necessary capacities to do land cover mapping and flood risk analysis. The company has built-up experience in both services via the participation in different GMES projects like GSE-LAND, GEOLAND-2, RISK-EOS, SAFER and G-MOSAIC.

HYDREO is executed in assignment of C-Core Company and Hatfield Consultants LTD. It is part of a larger ESA-project on the geographic expansion of EO Services into Indonesia and Vietnam.

For more information on these services, we refer to the following contact information:
EUROSENSE Belfotop N.V Belgium
Address: Nerviërslaan 54, B-1780 Wemmel, BELGIUM
Phone: +32 (0)2 460 70 00
Fax: +32 (0)2 460 49 58