Key Principles (Cumulative Impact) for Environmental Protection during the Construction and Operation Phase of the Hydro Technical Structures
Georgian Government considers hydropower production as the main source of electricity in Georgia, as it is reliable and cheap, as well as had no emissions. Accordingly, the National energy policy of Georgia aims to utilize the untapped potential of affluent water resources for energy purposes and considers the developments of the hydropower development as one of highest priorities. The development of hydropower structures is connected to the changes of the environment. The local ecosystem with all its components, connected to each other as a chain is impacted in parallel with the project development and as a result, the environment is changed. The hydrological regime of the river has also the impact and it changes as well as the biological environment; the mentioned changes also affect the activation of geodynamic processes. The rivers in Georgia are characterized with complex dynamic ecosystems, which are interconnected and they are also influenced by the different kinds of activities by population along the river. Apart from the fact that the river ecosystems have high value, ecological characteristics and sensitivity, it is also vitally important for the other fields like agriculture, water supply, tourism and etc. The development of hydropower projects can impact the river regime, catchment area, wetlands and also cause changes and degradation of social structures. The aim of identifying pressure groups is to obtain and use concrete criteria for assessing possible impacts of hydropower plants and assessment of possible impact distribution. Risk assessment and risk factors for water structures are divided into three categories: 1) Not at risk; 2) is at risk; 3) is at possible risk. According to Annex II and Article 5 of the "Water Framework Directive", the impact analysis and associated risks assessment are the essential components of river basin management plans and the objective is the probability of the non-fulfillment of environmental facilities by the water structures. In the case of water projects that may fail to meet specific tasks, they need to develop and implement operational monitoring measures to identify possible impacts and to determine the necessary measures for achieving good water status. In the conclusion, we can say that this approach can contribute significantly to sustainable planning and management of hydroelectric projects in the river basins of Georgia.
Keywords - Hydropower, Environment protect, Risk assessment