Within the framework of the construction of the Ituango Hydroelectric Project, EPM held a conversation to inform and share knowledge with the scientific and academic community of the region about water quality studies of the Cauca River, and the modeling of future water quality reservoir.
The study was advanced by the Hydraulic Institute of Cantabria, of Santander, Spain, and the Elemental Group of Medellin, within a technical cooperation agreement concluded by EPM with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The agreement sought to give viability to the financing of the Ituango Hydroelectric Project, adjusting its studies to the most stringent environmental standards, policies and safeguards of multilateral banks worldwide.
This research positions the Ituango Hydroelectric Project in the highest standards of risk analysis on water quality in the world, by using an innovative water quality modeling tool and of great scientific and technical rigor that has been validated by the IDB and by the Environmental Authority in Colombia.
The conversation was attended by academics from different universities and university institutions, including: National University of Colombia – Medellin -, University of Antioquia, University of Medellin, School of Engineering of Antioquia, College of Antioquia, Alexander von Humboldt Institute, HTM group ( Habitat, Territory and Environment), as well as the GAIA, GDCON and SICA research groups.
The basic objective of the model developed was to try to reduce uncertainties about water quality when the future reservoir of the Ituango project is already operating, and downstream of the plant.
This is very useful for EPM and the project basically for three purposes:
- Identify the restrictions of uses that the reservoir could have due to water quality.
- Adjust the operation management measures of the reservoir to the impacts that would occur, having a clearer idea of how the water quality of the reservoir will be.
- Evaluate the magnitude of the effect of the decomposition of the biomass of the reservoir vessel on its water quality.
The study will be a reference for the Environmental Authority and for multilateral banking, in the future search for better, more efficient and reliable analysis tools for simulations of water quality in tropical reservoirs in other new projects.
The conversation also demonstrates the permanent opening of EPM and the Ituango Hydroelectric Project to the scientific debate and, to present with transparency and responsibility, all the information on the impacts it generates with its projects and the most effective measures for its management.