The 2nd Regional Stakeholder workshop took place in Lisbon on the 20th of March at IST in the context of the FIThydro project. This workshop was the second in a series of four regional workshops (France/Belgium has already taken place; Scandinavian and Alpine region) and served as a platform for consultation and exchange between FIThydro scientists, stakeholders and water users on key open issues and possible solutions relevant to the assessment and planning of ecologically compatible hydropower production in the Iberian Peninsula.
Participants and topics
A total of 36 participants both from Portugal and Spain, including authorities involved in HPP authorization processes, HPP operators, environmental NGOs, consultants, planners, fisheries associations and the research community, attended the workshop.
The workshop was organized in five sessions presented by the FIThydro partners covering the following topics:
• Cyprinid species: ecology and constraints;
• Fish-passages for up and downstream migration: attraction flow;
• The impacts of hydropeaking and mitigation measures;
• Environmental flows: applicability to Mediterranean-streams;
• Cost-effectiveness assessment of mitigation strategies and socio-economic/policy challenges for decision-making.
These topics were chosen according to the relevant activities and interests in the hydropower sector in Portugal and Spain. At the end of each section a fruitful discussion where participants could express their concerns and expectations regarding the topic and the project took place. Additionally, for each session a set of guiding questions were given to each participant to obtain written feedback during the workshop, so that each participant had the opportunity to make a contribution to each topic. The aim was to provide some guidance to the project according to their needs.
Main concerns and discussion outcome
Participants were concerned with water scarcity, which is an increasing problem in Southern Europe. Also the invasion of exotic species in the threatened cyprinid native population was found to be of major concern. This is linked to the lack of scientific and technical knowledge about the biology of cyprinid species and their communities as well as their resilience to hydropeaking impacts and loss of longitudinal connectivity in rivers. A further question highlighted during this workshop was how e-flows could be addressed in order to maintain the typical Mediterranean natural flow regime and how to monitor the already established e-flows. These and other topics allowed numerous opinion exchanges between the participants and opened up collaborative windows, which made the workshop a great success.
Isabel Boavida and Antonio Pinheiro (IST)