Vjosa Sediment Study: Hardly any energy, no sand for the beach

For over a year, scientists from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) have been studying the sediment transport of the Vjosa river for different high and low water phases. They measured how much gravel, sand and fine sediment the Vjosa is transporting and calculated the annual sediment loads of the river. From these results, the researchers were able to predict the consequences on energy production, ecosystems and the Adriatic coast, if the sediments would be held back behind the planned Kalivac and Pocem dam walls. The scientists’ conclusions: the projected hydropower plans on the Vjosa would lead to a lose-lose-lose situation:

  1. High economic costs due to the enormous sediment deposition in the reservoirs and the decreasing energy production,
  2. Ecological degradation of a unique river system,
  3. Long-term negative consequences for the beaches and thus for the tourism of the region.

Study: Measuring of sediment transport and morphodynamics at the Vjosa river/Albania

Infographic Annual Sedimentation  /  Infographic Loss of Energy Potential  /  Infographic River Bed Incision  /  Infographic Coastal Erosion

Press release: New Vjosa study: hardly any energy, no sand for the beach