The international-hydropower-association (iha) has published the first edition of the GHG Measurement Guidelines for Freshwater Reservoirs, a landmark publication and the current standard on measuring Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from reservoirs.

The guidelines were officially launched at a session held by IHA at the recent HydroVision International conference in Charlotte, US.

For the first time, says the IHA, the GHG Measurement Guidelines provide individuals responsible in this area with a comprehensive tool to assess the GHG status of Freshwater reservoirs, including definitive guidance on measurement and qualification of emissions resulting from the formation of reservoirs.

Guidance covers: concepts and processes involved in making such measurements; the approach to conducting field measurements; and guidance on calculating results.

By providing the tools required to determine net GHG emissions in a selected set of reservoirs, IHA’s intention is to ensure that the results gained will be utilised to develop predictive tools, thereby avoiding the necessity of such intensive field measurements in the future. It is anticipated that shared results from the use of these GHG Measurement Guidelines will contribute to this intention.

“IHA is proud to have taken a leading role in advancing the knowledge relating to the determination of net GHG emissions from freshwater reservoirs, through the publication of the GHG Measurement Guidelines,” said Richard Taylor, IHA Executive Director. “This milestone publication draws from ongoing research hosted by IHA, in collaboration with the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO, and has benefitted from the collaboration of numerous research institutions and scientists within its peer-review group”.

IHA would encourage any organisation that has an interest in GHG emissions from freshwater reservoirs to utilise the GHG Measurement Guidelines. The publication is available in both printed and electronic (pdf) formats and can be ordered directly from the IHA website at:

The UNESCO/IHA Greenhouse Gas Status of Freshwater Reservoirs Project
The Project started in 2008 to advance scientific understanding on the greenhouse gas status of freshwater reservoirs and the publication of the GHG Measurement Guidelines for Freshwater Reservoirs is a significant milestone, reached through a two year, consensus-based, scientific approach. The GHG Measurement Guidelines, peer reviewed by representatives from more than 100 institutions, including universities, research institutes, specialist companies and sponsoring agencies, set the basis for the next stages of the research.
The current aims of this project are to:
* promote scientifically rigorous field measurement campaigns, and the evaluation of net emissions from a representative set of freshwater reservoirs throughout the world;
* build a standardised, credible set of data from these representative reservoirs;
* develop predictive modelling tools to assess the GHG status of unmonitored reservoirs and potential sites for new reservoirs; and
* develop guidance and assessment tools for mitigation of GHG emissions for sites vulnerable to high net emissions.
For more information on the UNESCO/IHA GHG Research Project please visit the IHA website at