Demonstration activities on six real hydroelectric power plants: the D-HYDROFLEX project

D-HYDROFLEX will employ demonstration activities on six real hydroelectric power plants (HPP) across five European countries. This will ensure the replicability of the developed solutions in different geographical and market set ups testing variety use cases.

#1 Polish demo


Demo site: Wały Śląskie hydroelectric power plant

Country: Poland

Location: Brzeg Dolny

Capacity [MW] : 10

Hydro System:  4 Kaplan turbines

Type: Run-of-river


Demo outcomes: As part of the D-Hydroflex project, the Wały Śląskie Water Power Plant will implement a “turbine digital twin” supported by hydrological modelling and CFD simulations. This comprehensive digital twin will also incorporate a predictive maintenance tool, aimed at improving the turbine’s reliability. This initiative sets a precedent for modernizing hydroelectric plants with advanced digital solutions.


Demo impact: The introduction of these technologies is expected to bring numerous benefits. The digital twin and predictive maintenance tool will enable real-time monitoring and data-driven decision-making, improving the overall efficiency and sustainability of the plant. Additionally, the enhanced modelling capabilities will provide deeper insights into hydrological patterns, contributing to more effective water management and energy production strategies. These advancements will bolster the plant’s output and serve as a model for similar facilities looking to adopt modern digital solutions.


Involved Partners:


TAURON: Demo HPP owner

PWR: University

#2 Romanian Demo


Demo site: Bratia Hydroelectric Power Plant

Country: Romania

Location: Albeștii de Muscel

Capacity [MW] : 1,56MW

Hydro System:  2 Pelton turbines

Type: Run-of-river


Demo outcomes of the Romanian demo will be focused on:

  • Fault detection and predictive maintenance based on advanced SCADA data processing.
  • Energy production forecasting, based on available data related to the power station operation
  • Hybridization of HPP for increased flexibility by facilitating connection to other renewable energy sources via local smart grids and/or VPP.


Demo impact of the Romanian demo will be focused on:

  • Increase smart readiness of the HPP for operation and preventive maintenance purposes
  • Readiness for hybrid future connection with other RES sources and/or VPP
  • Readiness for integration & operation into local smart grids


Involved Partners:

IDEA Technology provider

INTEX Demo HPP owner

CARTIF Research Institute

#3 Spanish Demo


Demo site: Salto de Touro Hybrid Hydroelectric Power Plant

Country: Spain

Location: Ulla River

Capacity [MW]: 12

Hydro System:  2 Kaplan turbines

Type:    Run-of-river


Demo outcomes: The Spanish demo aims to revolutionize run-of-river hydro power plants by integrating a hybrid model for enhanced flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and environmental sustainability. This involves generating hydrogen on-site through an electrolysis plant with 0.4 MW of installed capacity, contributing to a substantial reduction of emissions compared to conventional technologies. Other key outcomes include advancements in hybrid power plant knowledge, algorithms for optimal operation, and comprehensive environmental parameter monitoring.


Demo impact: This demo not only fosters sustainable practices but also facilitates the integration of hydrogen technology in small hydro power plants, aligning with energy targets and enhancing economic and environmental sustainability within the hydro power sector.


Description of Technology implemented: Two multi-parameter probes will be installed, whose data will feed the algorithms that predict the production capacity of Green Hydrogen as a function of water quality.


Expected impact: The objective is to obtain an accurate understanding of the capacity of inland waters for use in the production of green hydrogen by determining the hybridisation possibilities of the extensive network of hydropower facilities in Europe.


Involved Partners:


TASGA Demo HPP owner

ENERGYLAB Research and Technology Institute

CARTIF Research and Technology Institute

#4 French Demo


Demo site:  Mauzac Hydroelectric Power Plant

Country: France

Location: Dordogne River & Selune River

Capacity [MW]: 13.2

Hydro System:  1 Kaplan & 5 Francis turbines

Type: Run-of-river


Demo outcomes


The main expected outcomes of the French demonstrators are:

  • Increasing the HPP performance regarding hydropower production while lowering its environmental impact, especially on fish passage.
  • Providing information on the migration dynamic fish species, such as salmon, eel, shad etc.
  • Optimization of the protection measure or devices, such as turbine management, installation of temporary scientific devices (additional bypass or trap and truck)
  • Increasing the knowledges on the dynamics of the fish migration (i.e., migration season, environmental triggers of the migration)


Demo impact

These efforts align with the goals of increasing hydropower production while minimizing the environmental impact. The French demonstrator showcases a commitment to sustainable energy practices and effective fish conservation strategies.


Involved Partners:

EDF Demo HPP owner

# 5 Greek Demo


Country: Greece

Regions: Kremasta  & Ilarion

Location: Acheloos & Aliakmon Rivers

Capacity: [MW] 437 & 153

Hydro system    4 Francis turbines & 2 Francis turbines

Type: Earth Fill


Demo outcomes: The technologies implemented and demonstrated within the Greek demo include:

  • An asset management platform that will integrate geometric, non-geometric and management information data.
  • The automatic generation of the geometric digital twin model for the HPPs.
  • A federated learning intrusion detection system, for early detecting cyberattacks against the OT and automation systems of the dams.


Demo Impact: The Greek demo aims to enhance hydroelectric power plant resilience by early detecting intrusions and malicious activities. Moreover, the demo aims to suggest data standards for efficient digital dam management in operations and maintenance.


Involved Partners:

MINDS Technology provider

PPC Demo HPP owner

UCL University

UOC University

Author: D-Hydroflex

Information on the demonstrators:


LinkedIn: d-hydroflex

Twitter: @d-hydroflex

The iAMP-Hydro project on new digital sensors and services

The current hydropower plant fleet in the EU is aged, and it is estimated that 50% of the fleet will require upgrade actions by 2030. In particular, modernisation actions related to digitalisation are required in the short to medium term, in order to offer enhanced services, increase grid flexibility, environmental and socio-economic sustainability and to foster the green and digital transitions in Europe.


The iAMP-Hydro project will improve the operations of existing hydropower stations through the development of new digital sensors and services. Combined, these will form a novel intelligent Asset Management Platform for Hydropower Operation and Maintenance, the iAMP.


The following aspects are worked on in the project to reach the iAMP-Hydro objectives:


  • Condition Monitoring of Hydropower Equipment (lab scale & on-site sensors)
  • Predictive Maintenance Modelling (lab scale & on-site sensors)
  • Ecology Monitoring Sensor Development, Data Analysis & Smart Flow Steering (lab scale & on-site sensors)
  • Flow & Available Power Prediction Model Development
  • Semantic Interoperability Mechanisms for Hydropower, Energy & other relevant Data
  • End-User Requirements and Architecture Design for the ICT Components of iAMP-Hydro & iAMP implementation
  • Data Analytics and Hydro Asset Management Platform Development
  • System Validation in Operating Hydro plants & Case studies


By reaching the objectives, iAMP-Hydro aims at increasing the technology competitiveness of existing hydro by reducing O&M costs by 5-10 %, improving generation and revenues, increasing flexibility and data-driven decision making in hydropower operations. It will also increase the market penetration of renewables in the grid by 8.4 TWh/y, getting closer to the EU 2030 Climate and Energy targets, and the EU green deal. iAMP-Hydro will improve environmental and socio-economic sustainability of the existing hydropower fleet by reducing operating costs by € 1 billion per annum, reducing CO2 emissions by 1260 tonnes, creating 10,000 future-proof jobs, and enabling environmentally sustainable flow regulation using digital solutions.


Furthermore, the iAMP-Hydro project invites interested stakeholders to its Community of Practice where the latest results are presented for discussion, getting directly involved to form a sustainable energy future (connecting hydropower, PV and wind energy). Registration and participation at the Community of Practice is free of charge, thanks to funding from the European Union. Register here if you want to be part of it: Community of Practice –


Save-the Date: On 4 December 2024, we invite you for our 2nd Co-Development Workshop, dedicated to the topic of Artificial intelligence in hydropower digitalisation webinar. You can find out more on .


Site presentation example:

One of the five demonstration sites is HPP Bermejales (2.1 MW) in the South of Spain. It is a dam-toe type plant with an average production of 2 GWh per annum, with a reservoir of 102.6 hm3. It is in a dry tropical climate. The plant contains a Francis turbine with 0.8-4.8 m3/s flows, and a nominal head of 56.5 m at 750 rpm. This is also an ideal plant to explore possible solutions of hybridisation and interoperability with other renewable sources and to foster hydro flexibility solutions and participation in energy markets, due to its seasonal operation, as the downstream water is used for irrigation which takes place for just a few months per year.

Content provided by Ingo Ball (WIP Renewable Energies) & the iAMP-Hydro consortium



News about Hydro4U’s innovation

Despite its proven potential, small-scale hydropower in Central Asia remains largely underdeveloped, even as electricity demand continues to grow. To address this challenge, the Hydro4U project aims to introduce innovative, modular, and standardized European hydropower technologies suitable for both low-head and medium-head applications in the region. By adapting these technologies to Central Asia, Hydro4U aims to demonstrate their viability within a forward-looking cross-border Water/Food/Energy/Climate nexus and enhance their price competitiveness. Additionally, the project supports European hydropower manufacturers and service providers in preparing for entry into the Central Asian market, with Steinbeis leading the way.


Innovation management in Hydro4U


From the start of the project, Steinbeis has been diligently monitoring the innovative outcomes, assisting partners in articulating their results in terms of their substance, intended utilization, and ownership of Intellectual Property.


In an effort to facilitate the introduction of the most promising results into the market, Steinbeis orchestrated the efforts of four Project Partners (TUM, GHE, Muhr, CARTIF) with innovative solutions. They conducted a thorough market analysis, which will be the foundation for the design of robust business models and pave the way for the future exploitation of their individual solutions in Central Asia.


Evaluation of the market is key


Understanding the targeted market is key to a successful exploitation. For the innovative solutions selected, some of the following elements were analysed: customer segments,  competition and the forces at play, feasibility of operations (initial assessment on how to create, deliver and capture value), identify potential problems.


This evaluation was tackled at the micro-environmental level, i.e. the factors, an organisation is directly interacting with (e.g. customers, suppliers, competitors) and at the macro-environmental level, i.e. external factors that are beyond control of the organisation but have impact on it or on its micro-environment.


To round up the market analysis, an assessment of chances (strengths, opportunities) and risks (weaknesses, threats) for each solution was carried out in the form of a SWOT analysis. This, in turn, should help the owners of these four innovative solutions to use the gained knowledge to design stronger business models for their solutions.


As a conclusion, we were able to establish the attractiveness of the Central Asian SHP sector for European suppliers of products and services. Not only there is a large untapped small hydropower potential, but further potential might be unlocked considering all the remote sites that are only accessible by solutions from Hydro4U. Also, Central Asian is characterised by a growing energy demand combined with an increasing public acceptance towards renewable energy supply. The four Hydro4U results meet these opportunities with appealing solutions. Those innovations create a win-win situation, as the high quality products keep maintenance costs low in the long run, while they guarantee ecological sustainability and flexibility to adapt to different geographical and infrastructural conditions.


In the Central Asian market, however, challenges may arise from the energy policy with regard to the feed-in tariffs, the cultural differences, the language barrier or the great distance between manufacturers and the operating sites. Not to mention the fact that competition is strong in the hydropower industry with Central Asia.

What is next


In the next steps, the partners will be supported in the drafting of appropriate Business Models and strategies to operate successfully in Central Asia.



Author and picture credits: Isabelle Dubreuilh, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum


Website: Innovation Funding | Steinbeis Europa Zentrum – Steinbeis EN (

Hydro4U partner INBO on the trail of snowtrouts

In October 2022, EV-INBO and TIIAME tagged 29 snowtrouts in Shakhimardan to track their movements and habitat use at the demo site before the construction of the hydropower installation. Although the manufacturer estimated that the tags would last one year, which was enough for our study, about ten are still active!


This provides an excellent opportunity as it provides us extra data, particularly in spring, as that proved to be the period that snowtrouts migrated over 10 km downstream for reasons we are still analysing. Therefore, scientists from TIIAME are still going to Shakhimardan regularly to track the snowtrouts. In addition, another 30 radio transmitters have been ordered and will be surgically implanted in the snowtrouts the coming spring to continue the tracking experiment. The goal of this following tagging experiment is to study if the hydropower installation and activation has an impact on the snowtrouts returning to the River Koksu after their downstream adventures.


We are currently analysing the tracking data that has been collected so far and in general, we observed that the snowtrouts move downstream in spring and early summer, but migrate back upstream in late summer and autumn.

Author and picture credits: Pieterjan Verhelst, EV-INBO

Hydro-mechanical equipment, Steel hydraulic components for demonstration plants in Central Asia take shape

Since the beginning of the Hydro4U project, the partners have been working together on the planning and installation of two small hydropower plants in Central Asia.


For the demonstration hydropower plant in At-Bashy, Kyrgyzstan, in addition to the turbine components supplied by project partner Global Hydro Energy, Austria, many hydraulic steelwork components (stop logs, penstocks and trash racks, as well as a trash rack cleaner) were also planned. This is where the company Erhard Muhr GmbH, Germany, comes into play. They are experienced in manufacturing of hydropower equipment. As part of Hydro4U their core activities are the economic and ecological optimisation of the Hydroshaft Power Plant equipment, the manufacturing, supply and installation of trash racks with integrated cleaning device, flow regulation gates, stop logs, as well as the validation.


They calculated and constructed these in detail for the demo-site in At-Bashy using up to date CAD and FEM tools. From autumn 2023 until the end of 2023, this first phase was completed and Muhr focused on the production of these parts ever since including production planning and purchasing. Since 2024, they have been directly involved in the production of the components.


Components, such as the stainless steel guides for the top water dam panel, the regulating gate and the underwater dam panel and their lifting beams, and the supports for the shaft rakes are embedded in the concrete during construction work are ready for delivery to the demo-site. Due to the climatic conditions, the guide for the penstock is equipped with piping for a heating system. This system will keep the gate operational even in the harsh winter conditions in Kyrgyzstan.


The stop logs are made of lightweight aluminum in order to keep the crane capacities required for assembly and disassembly as low as possible. It is possible that the dam panels will already enable or support the damming and drainage of the construction site for the installation of the remaining equipment.

Author: Fabian Böttger, Project Management, Muhr

Picture credits: Muhr

Using BIM for detailed Design

The Hydro4U demonstration hydropower plant in At-Bashy has reached the detailed design phase. The use of dedicated structural analysis software has facilitated the adoption of an integrated BIM solution for the detailed design of the At-Bashy hydropower plant in Kyrgyzstan.


ILF Consulting Engineers Austria, which has been responsible for the detailed design of the At-Bashy demonstration hydropower plant, prepared formwork and reinforcement drawings for the construction of the modular Hydroshaft Power Solution (HSPS). During this process, optimizations and structural adjustments were made to the design; all using Building Information Modelling (BIM) – exemplifying how dedicated structural analysis software enables an integrated BIM solution.


The workflow used can be described as follows: The basic design was prepared by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and provided to ILF for further development and review. After an initial review of the basic design elements, which include subdivision of the hydropower plant with construction joints, a three-dimensional (3D) structural Finite Element Model (FEM) was created. Dead load, earth pressure and external influences such as wind and snow were defined and applied to this model. As these loads induce stresses in the structure, these loads were calculated using the FEM.


As a result of these load calculations, the required reinforcement according to the applied load was then visible in the model. An example of the required stirrup reinforcement is shown below. The required reinforcement is defined and set for each element in the model.

The FEM is part of the larger BIM model, allowing plausibility checks regarding the location, quantity and spacing of the reinforcement to be conducted easily, and thus helping to ensure the practicality of its installation on site.


BIM models can be visualized using different views. In addition to full 3D views, sections and viewing angles can be displayed. Dimensions and further information can be added to the views. As only one model is used, these individual views can be used for formwork and reinforcement drawings. The reinforcement material list generated by the software could also be added to the drawings.


The BIM approach makes it possible for everyone involved in a project to have a good overview of the project at all times by using a cloud-based setup. The model is stored on a platform so that multiple users and experts from different disciplines can follow the progress of the project and intervene, if necessary.


In this project, the 3D model was stored in a cloud to give all relevant project members insight into the progress of the design work. The 3D model was used as the basis for discussing all coordination issues, which were resolved before the 2D drawings were started. The reinforcement was also part of the 3D model and allowed a high level of accuracy to ensure practicality on site.



The ILF Group is an international engineering and consulting firm that supports its clients to successfully identify, prepare and execute technically challenging energy, industrial and infrastructure projects all over the world in the following main business areas: Energy & Climate Protection, Water & Environment, Transportation & Urban Spaces and Resources & Sustainable Industry.

Picture credits and authors: Ulrich Beikircher, Rupert Feldbacher, Gabriel Pojer, ILF Austria

Protection of Fish Biodiversity in mountainous areas of Central Asia

As visible in the project title of Hydro4U, sustainability is a crucial part of the developments in small-scale hydropower in Central Asia, particularly ecological sustainability. Ecological impacts of HP are for instance hindered migration, altered flow regimes (reduced flow, fast flow changes) or changed river morphology (sediment retention, increased embeddedness). The investigations performed by the European partners BOKU (A), EVINBO (B), Hydrosolutions (CH) and SJE (D) in cooperation with local partner TIIAME (UZB) in the demonstration sites Shakimardan at Koksu river in UZB, and Atbashy close to Naryn City at Atbashy river in Kyrgyzstan) focus on the mitigation of ecological impacts.


Hydrology in Shakimardan and Atbashy
The Koksu River, part of the Shakimardan basin, is influenced by a natural dam created by rockslide deposits, leading to the formation of lakes Kurbankul and Yashikul. The Koksu’s discharge, measured from 1948 to 2020, shows a minimum monthly flow of 1.25 m³/s in spring and a maximum of 16 m³/s during summer. The river’s annual sediment load is low due to upstream dam filtration, and it remains unfrozen throughout winter. The Atbashy River, a tributary of the Naryn in Kyrgyzstan, spans an area of 1,496 km² with elevations ranging from 2,455 to 4,843 meters above sea level. From 1970 to 1995, the Atbashy’s mean discharge was 16.6 m³/s, characterized by a nivo-glacial and strongly seasonal regime, with higher flows in warm months (mean discharge of 24.8 m³/s) and lower flows, accompanied by significant ice cover, in winter.


Fish populations in Central Asia and target species
The Mountains of Central Asia biodiversity hotspot consist of two major mountain ranges: the Pamir; and the Tien Shan with a total area of about 860,000 km² covered, including the 2 demonstration sites Shakimardan and Atbashy. Much of the biodiversity and natural ecosystems are in remote mountain areas and have still to be better studied. Therefore, any human impact directed on the change of aquatic habitat in these ecosystems has to be thoroughly assessed before implementation.


During 2021-2023 the ecological conditions and diversity of the ichthyofauna of mountain and foothill sections of rivers that are promising for the development of environmentally sustainable small-scale hydropower have been studied. Special attention was paid to the conservation of the diversity of fish key species and other aquatic organisms. To assess this integral component of the sustainable functioning of river ecosystems a special focus has been laid on the related habitat conditions.


One of main steps to achieve sustainable SHP is the identification of target aquatic key-species to be protected, having high importance for the protection of wildlife biodiversity. Collected field data on fish diversity, taxonomy and ecology of more than 50 river catchments in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have allowed to identify for the first-time main key fish species in upstream sections of Central Asian Mountain rivers (see also illustrations below):


1. Snowtrout – Schizothorax eurystomus (Kessler 1872);
2. Sewertsow rare-scaly osman – Diptychus sewerzowi (Kessler 1872);
3. Triplophysa ferganaensis (Sheraliev & Peng 2021);
4. Stone loach – Triplophysa sp.;
5. Glyptosternon oschanini (Herzenstein 1889).

Figure: Central Asian fish species as target of HP impact mitigation within Hydro4U (© Jennifer Clausen,



First findings on fish ecology of snow trout
Snow trout (Schizothorax sp.) belong to the most important fish species in Central Asia. They are adapted to fast-flowing, high-sloped mountain rivers. These fish, which reach up to 60 cm in length and 4 kg in weight, have a diet comprising algae, detritus, macroinvertebrates, and smaller fish. Their life cycle includes reaching sexual maturity at 3-4 years and a notable spawning period from April to September.


A habitat preference study of Schizothorax eurystomus in the Shakhimardan basin performed by Hydro4U researchers using point electrofishing revealed that juvenile snow trout prefer shallow waters around 20-40 cm of depth, while sub-adults and adults favor deeper areas of >30 cm and >50 cm, respectively. All size classes showed a high plasticity for diverse flow velocities and inhabit various substrates, with juveniles showing a preference for mid-sized substrates. This research is significant as it expanded the known distribution range of S. eurystomus and provided baseline data for environmental flow assessments.


Telemetry studies
Fish use various habitats to complete their life cycle such as spawning habitat, wintering sites and foraging areas. These habitats can be located at different parts of a river system and used by fish at different, seasonal-specific moments in time. Knowledge on the movement and habitat use of snow trout species Schizothorax eurystomus in the rivers of the Shakhimardan enclave is currently lacking. Hence, the effect of the planned hydropower plant in the River Koksu on the habitat use of snow trouts is unknown.
We used radiotelemetry to tag and track (position) 29 snow trouts in October 2022 to reveal their habitat use over the course of one year so we could learn when they reside and Koksu and why.


As the dataset is almost complete, we learned that the snow trouts seasonally visit the Koksu River, in particular during autumn months, which reasons for are to be clarified. However, these data suggest that the construction of the hydropower plant needs to take into account the life cycle of snow trout. In the next months the tracking data will be analyzed deeper to learn when and under which environmental conditions snow trout visits specific habitats. This information is not only crucial for the Shakhimardan enclave but can help future planning of river regulating structures in fish-ecologically, similar places in Central Asia.


Migration facilities and EFlow
The information for target species Schizothorax eurystomus has been used in Shakimardan for simulations with the habitat model CASiMiR to find a seasonally adapted E-Flow providing fish habitats in adequate quality and availability when the HPP is diverting part of the natural flow. The existing weir will integrate a state-of-the-art fish way and a bypass installation that enable up- and downstream migration for snow trout. Another artificial migration barrier within the river will be made passable as well. In Atbashy the modernized irrigation weir, equipped with a shaft turbine, will also integrate upstream- and downstream migration facilities. The attraction flow leading fish into the bypass channels and preventing them from entering the turbine inlet is investigated using a newly developed module of CASiMiR to possibly optimize the inflow conditions. The findings from these studies together with the results from the monitoring of the HPPs that both go into operation during the project period will deliver information for the adaptive management as part of the EIA.



Authors: Matthias Schneider (SJE), Tobias Siegfried (HSOL), Daniel Hayes (BOKU), Pieterjan Verhelst (EVINBO), Bakhtiyor Karimov (TIIAME-NRU), Erkin Karimov (TIIAME-NRU), Otabek Omonov (TIIAME-NRU).


Further contributors: Iana Kopecki (SJE), Tobias Haegele (SJE), Beatrice Marti (HSOL), Bernhard Zeiringer (BOKU), Johan Coeck (EVINBO), Ine Pauwels (EVINBO)

Connecting fish and people: Protection of Fish Biodiversity in Mountainous areas of Central Asia

Small-scale hydropower (SHP) is not extensively exploited in Central Asia despite considerable potential to satisfy unmet electricity demand. The Mountains of Central Asia hotspot consists of two of Asia’s major mountain ranges: the Pamir; and the Tien Shan with the total area covered of about 860,000 square kilometers. Much of the biodiversity and natural ecosystems are in the remote mountain areas and have still to be better studied. Therefore, any human impact directed towards the change of aquatic habitat on these ecosystems have to be thoroughly assessed before implementation.


In light of the above, a key aim of TIIAME NRU’s research was to study the ecological conditions and diversity of the ichthyofauna of mountain and foothill sections of rivers that are promising for the development of environmentally sustainable small hydropower. A special attention within the project is paid to the particular importance of the conservation of the ichthyofauna diversity and habitat conditions as well as other aquatic organisms as an integral component of the sustainable functioning of river ecosystems.


To achieve the Hydro4U project objectives, it is key to perform studies on fish biodiversity, allowing the identification of key species of conservational and economic value, key river habitats based on, e.g., morphological river types or specific river sections, and legal protection sites.

To this aim, the team of TIIAME NRU conducted a series of “Central Asian Big Highlands Expeditions” to assemble baseline data on fish biodiversity and population assemblages, distribution and movements in rivers of CA, including information on measured chemical parameters. These field surveys also enabled knowledge exchange with Central Asian scientists and stakeholders.


To carry out the planned research, a special series of expeditionary research was organized in the mountainous regions of Central Asia. Field studies have been conducted in cooperation with regional research institutions and ichthyologists from Fergana and Termez state Universities (Uzbekistan) and Biological institute of Kyrgyzstan Academy of Sciences. Famous German ichthyologist, Dr. Joerg Freyhof from the Natural Museum of Berlin has participated in spring field studies as well.


To perform the listed tasks, the TIIAME NRU Team has conducted large-scale preparatory work since the end of 2022 – beginning of 2023. More than 50 preliminary planning sites throughout the whole Central Asian highlands were defined.


Before starting our surveys, we faced problems with obtaining permission for electrofishing. After long discussions and organization of two workshops dedicated to explaining the pros and cons, sampling permits for Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan were handed out eventually. TIIAME NRU is still aiming to acquire permits for ichtyological studies in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. Therefore, here we provide data on the two republics of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

In general, all research tasks have been fulfilled, despite the difficulty of visiting some distant upstream sections of mountainous rivers due to absence or very bad quality of roads. As a result of conducted field surveys, today we have collected large field data on fish diversity, taxonomy and ecology, as well as hydrology of more than 50 river drainages in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Also, for the first time, the main key fish species in upstream sections of Central Asian Mountain rivers have been revealed. The identification of key species to be protected during implementation of different hydrotechnical constructions, including SHP, has high importance for the protection of wildlife.


The TIIAME NRU Team has also continued telemetry studies in Shakhimardan river basin to establish fish migration patterns in connection with the construction of fish passages on water intake and water fall in Koksu river. Results of conducted research have been presented in meetings and conferences and also published in regional journals.


Author: TIIAME National Research University

Picture credits: Erkin Karimov

Harnessing open-source datasets for global Water–Food–Energy–Climate Nexus analysis, demonstrated in Central Asia

The Water–Food–Energy–Climate Nexus (WFEC Nexus) approach is pivotal for transparent decision-making across the globe, especially in regions grappling with data scarcity. To this aim, a new study identified sixty unique datasets spanning six thematic categories, showcasing the potential of open-source data in driving evidence-based decisions in diverse global contexts, as demonstrated by Central Asian examples from the Hydro4U project.


“While our work offers a detailed exploration of how these data can be used in the Central Asian context, its true strength lies in its broader applicability”, said lead author Jan De Keyser, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. “The datasets and methodologies which we highlighted can be transformative for any region facing data limitations, providing a roadmap for holistic, informed decision-making.”


Geospatial data, as underscored in this article, is a game-changer in today’s data-driven era. It offers invaluable insights into various facets of the WFEC Nexus, from tracking land use changes to dealing with different water use interests, making it indispensable for policymakers and stakeholders worldwide.

Corresponding author Daniel S. Hayes, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, added, “The power of open-source data transcends regional boundaries. By presenting a comprehensive overview of these datasets, we aim to equip researchers and stakeholders across the globe with the foundations they need to address complex challenges.”


The paper also delves into the challenges of data scarcity, a concern not limited to Central Asia but prevalent in numerous regions globally. It advocates for bolstered investments in data acquisition and management, enhanced data exchange mechanisms, and the fostering of international collaborations to bridge these data gaps.


In conclusion, this research, a pivotal component of the Hydro4U project, serves as a beacon for experts working on WFEC-related challenges.


For a detailed overview of these data, please refer to the published article “Integrating Open-Source Datasets to Analyze the Transboundary Water–Food–Energy–Climate Nexus in Central Asia”, which can be downloaded for free here:




Author and picture credits: Daniel S. Hayes, BOKU

2023 HydroKG Summer School in Kyrgyzstan

Within the framework of the EU-funded Hydro4U project, one of the main tasks is also the development of academic programs and courses on sustainable hydropower for students from Europe and Central Asia.  Therefore, the Kyrgyz State Technical University named after I. Razzakov (KSTU), as project partner within Hydro4U, has been annually holding a two-week summer school for students since 2021 on the topic “Kyrgyzstan – hydropower, ecology and hydromorphology.”


The 2023 Summer School took place from the 14th to 31st of August 2023, with a total of 15 students from Germany, India, Pakistan and the Kyrgyz Republic participating in this year’s Summer School. Furthermore, participants were able to experience the incredible potential of hydropower in Kyrgyzstan, and also learn about the environmental impacts and sustainability associated with ecology and hydromorphology. The main organizational work of the Summer School was carried out by Venera Baychekirova, Head of the international Department of KSTU, with technical support from members of KSTU, and Professors Trukmen Dzhabudaev, Gennady Loginov, Nuridin Niyazov, who gave lectures. The Summer School concept consists of lectures and seminars at KSTU in Bishkek, combined with excursions to interesting places in the Kyrgyz Republic related to hydropower and natural river systems. In addition, there are also cultural offerings such as Russian language courses and sightseeing trips.


During their stay in Central Asia, students visited hydroelectric power stations in the south and north of Kyrgyzstan, such as Toktogul, Kambar Ata 1 and 2 as well as Kurpsai. They learned about the environmental impacts and sustainability associated with the ecology and hydromorphology, but also about the hydro-electrical part of the plants. In addition, as part of the 2023 Summer School there was also a visit to the Orto-Tokoy reservoir in Issyk-Kul, where students listened to an information and demonstration lecture led by Director Nurbek Sadygaliev on irrigation in Central Asia.


Where students participating in previous editions of the Summer School visited the Chui, Jalal-Abad and Issyk-Kul regions, this year, the cultural program included the Naryn region, the Kochkor region and Lake Son-Kul, where students were able to experience the lifestyle of nomads.


Further summer schools are planned annually. Students will be informed about the application stage for Summer School 2024 on our website  as well as on our social networks and https: //


It is expected that within the framework of Hydro4U, professors from among the project partners will also be invited to give a lecture and seminar on the topic of the summer school.




Author: Venera Baichekirova, Head of International Relations Department of KSTU