Why Restoration Hydro?
Globally, countless watersheds, rivers and wetland ecosystems have become degraded, depriving us of a vast array of economically valuable ecosystem services. The restoration of these critical ecosystems is not only possible, but economically justifiable, and would enhance the climate resilience and adaptability of watersheds.
of U.S. water ways are degraded
of rivers are degraded in the Northeast and deep South of the U.S.
of rivers were newly classified as deteriorated between 2004 and 2009
Degraded watersheds suffer from factors including poor conditions for riparian and instream habitat, excessive nitrogen and phosphorous levels, decreased vegetation cover leading to flooding and water quality issues, lack of water table connectivity and natural seasonal flow availability, and more. (Source: EPA, 2013)
What is Restoration Hydro?
“An approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies”.
– Biomimicry Institute
Restoration Hydro incorporates the concept of biomimicry in the form of low-head, strategically-sited structures proven to restore watershed and ecological function. Natel Energy’s Restoration Hydropower Projects take this concept one step further by integrating our Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT) turbine into these structures, using innovative and adaptive civil works to ensure safe upstream and downstream fish passage and low environmental impact. This creates an additional layer of economic value in the form of flexible, reliable and renewable energy on top of the high-value water and environmental benefits of watershed restoration.
Restoration Hydro therefore creates a virtuous cycle where projects can be financially leveraged to support the scaling of watershed ecosystem restoration activities, creating a environment-energy multiplier effect.
Water and Environmental Co-Benefits
Restoration Hydro projects generate multiple environmental co-benefits that may include habitat creation, improved water quality and sustained increases in groundwater and aquifer recharge rates. When deployed strategically at multiple sites across a basin, Restoration Hydro projects enhance river, wetland and watershed connectivity, which can help partially mitigate the impacts of droughts and floods.
See other resources and work related to sustainable hydropower development: