Conference on Hydropower and Water Management

Acknowledging the challenges of sustainable hydropower development in the frame of the existing legal and policy frameworks, the ICPDR was asked in the Danube Declaration 2010 to organise in close cooperation with the hydropower sector and all relevant stakeholders a broad discussion process. The aim is to develop guiding principles that both integrate environmental aspects in the use of existing hydropower plants, including potential increases in their efficiency, and to aid in the planning and construction of new hydropower plants. This activity is also included in the Action Plan of the EU Danube Strategy under Priority Area 2 “Energy”.

Within the frame of the ICPDR, the three “Lead Countries” Austria, Romania and Slovenia were nominated to steer the process of the elaboration of “Guiding Principles on Sustainable Hydropower Development in the Danube Basin” (Guiding Principles). In support of development of the document, a broad participative process was set up with the involvement of representatives from administrations (energy and environment), the hydropower sector, NGOs, and the scientific community. During the course of a number of meetings of this Team of Experts, significant steps were taken towards a common understanding of the issue and draft versions of the Guiding Principles were subsequently developed.

Guiding Principles on Sustainable Hydropower Development in the Danube Basin

The general objective of the Guiding Principles is to create a common vision and understanding of the requirements, the policy framework, and the issues to be addressed to ensure sustainable use of hydropower in the Danube basin. The document is expected to play an important role for a coherent and coordinated implementation of relevant legislation, in particular for the EU Renewable Energy Directive, the EU Water Framework Directive, and other relevant environmental and water management legislation.

The Guiding Principles primarily address public bodies and competent authorities responsible for the planning and authorization of hydropower. In particular, this includes those bodies at the national, regional, and local levels in charge of energy, environment, and water management issues. Furthermore, the Guiding Principles are also intended to provide relevant information for potential investors in the hydropower sector, as well as for NGOs and the interested public.

About the conference

The aim of the Conference is to present and discuss the results of the work undertaken in the frame of the two years of dialogue and to introduce to a broader audience the main outcome of this process and the draft content of the Guiding Principles. This will be accompanied by presentations on practical examples for the application. The Conference marks an important step towards the finalization of the “Guiding Principles on Sustainable Hydropower Development in the Danube Basin”.

European Union This workshop is supported by the EU Grant DRBMP-2012 and Slovenia.



  • » Guiding Principles on Sustainable Hydropower
    Following a request by the Danube Ministerial Conference 2010, the ICPDR has become active in initiating a dialogue with representatives from the hydropower sector. As an essential step in this process, "Guiding Principles on Sustainable Hydropower Development in the Danube Basin" have been developed by an interdisciplinary team and were finalised and adopted in June 2013.
  • » 1st ICPDR Workshop on Hydropower and Water Management
    Timişoara, 21/22 February 2012. Cooperation on navigation is already ongoing and has now been launched for hydropower: efforts are needed in creating win-win situations and benefits for all actors involved. The 1st ICPDR Workshop on Hydropower and Water Management was organised by Romania (Apele Romane) in close cooperation with the other two Lead Countries Austria and Slovenia and the ICPDR.

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