Workshop: assessing GHG emissions

Kintamani 3
Thursday, November 2, 2023
08:00 – 09:15 WITA


Greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs is increasingly considered as one of the criteria to determine the sustainability of hydropower. Given the importance of having a precise means of determining the level of reservoir emissions, this session will focus on the various evaluation methods, such as using direct measurement, the G-res Tool, emission factors and remote sensing. 

All ecosystems, including river systems, naturally emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. When a reservoir is created, there will be a change in GHG emissions due to the decomposition of organic matter.

The amount of GHG emitted (or sequestered) is highly dependent on local conditions, such as a reservoir type, size and location. Once filled, factors such as a reservoir’s depth and shape, the amount of sun reaching its floor, and wind speed, affect the different biogeochemical pathways by which carbon dioxide and methane are created and released to the atmosphere.

The greenhouse gas status of freshwater reservoirs has been the focus of a multi-year, multi-stakeholder research project led in partnership by IHA and the UNESCO Chair for Global Environmental Change. This research project resulted in the launch of the G-res Tool in 2017. This free, web-based tool is a recognised means of accurately determining the GHG emission from a reservoir, but other methods exist.


Session objectives

The main objective of the session is to showcase the various means of evaluating GHG emissions from reservoirs, namely:

  • Direct measurement of GHG in reservoirs 
  • G-res Tool 
  • Using pre-established emission factors to estimate emissions based on climate zone  
  • Remote sensing

In this interactive workshop, participants will learn from experts and put their knowledge to the test to discover the advantages, disadvantages and application of each method.


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