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In 2014, World Water Day was dedicated to water and energy. The day was organised under the auspices of UNESCO and its objective was to raise awareness on the importance of the sustainable utilisation of natural water resources.

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Water and sustainable development

A breakfast meeting on the interplay of water and energy was held by Landsvirkjun, the National Energy Authority, the Environment Agency and the Iceland Meteorological Office to celebrate World Water Day. There were four presenters at the meeting including Mr Joerg Hartmann who worked for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). He spoke of the development of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP). Mr Hartmann was part of the team who developed the Protocol.

“The objective is shared by everybody, improving the performance and the quality of projects. It [hydropower] is an important sector to contribute to mitigating climate change.“ Joerg Hartman.

Landsvirkjun has undertaken two assessments using the HSAP Protocol; for the Hvammur project during the preparation stage and the Blanda Hydropower Station at the operational stage. Detailed information can be found on the projects in Landsvirkjun’s 2013 Environmental Report.

Other presenters included Mr Guðni Jóhannesson, ‎Director General for the Icelandic National Energy Authority, who spoke on sustainability indicators for hydropower and geothermal energy, Mr Stefán Gíslason, Chairman of the Master Plan for Energy Resources in Iceland, who described the development of the Master Plan and Mr Árni Snorrason, Director-General at the Icelandic Meteorological Office who spoke on climate change and their effects on hydrology, the environment and society.

A recording of the meeting can be accessed here.