The FutureDAMS consortium, led by The University of Manchester and the International Institute for Environment & Development (IIED), is developing the knowledge base, tools and approach to enable dam projects to support resilient and sustainable development in a warming world.
More than 3,700 large dams are planned or under construction, to service growing demands for energy and irrigation. This new generation of dam schemes has the potential to make a significant contribution towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris climate change commitments. However, maximising the benefits while minimising the negative social and environmental impacts remains a challenge in the developing countries.
The £8 million project funded by RCUK as part of the Global Challenges Research Fund aims to co-develop, with institutional and case-study partners, an approach and toolset to help design and plan better human interventions in complex human-engineered natural resource systems, with a focus on developing countries. Dams and systems of dams are conceptualised and assessed as water-energy-food-ecology system interventions that must deliver economic, social and environmental benefits and resilience under a range of plausible futures.
Key project partners include:
- Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
- Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
- The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
- International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
- Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering, University College London
- Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London
- Department of Statistical Sciences, University College London
- School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University
- Department of Geography and Environment, University of Southampton
- Centre for Research in Social Simulation (CRESS), University of Surrey
- Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana
- Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana
- International Union for Conservation of Nature, Switzerland
- International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka
- Methods for Irrigation and Agriculture, Jordan
- Yangon Technological University (YTU) , Myanmar
Researchers from Tyndall Manchester are addressing two research questions for analysis:
- What contribution could Dams make to a global energy mix compatible with the Paris 1.5 to 2°C constraints?
- What is the potential role of Dam construction & operation within the context of a national reduction commitment (a Ghanaian case study)?