Use of Geospatial Tools to Prioritize Zones of Hydro-Energy Potential in Glaciated Himalayan Terrain

Lydia Sam, Anshuman Bhardwaj*, Vinay S.P. Sinha, Pawan K. Joshi, Rajesh Kumar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable development of the Himalayan region is directly linked to optimal utilization of available renewable resources. There is a need to first select the zones suitable for hydropower sites, and then to focus on them only; as purely field-based surveying of rugged mountainous regions for hydropower generation requires too much of time and effort. We used geospatial tools to identify suitable sites for hydropower generation. A Geographic Information System (GIS)-based tool called Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) was used for computing annual runoff volume using watershed-wise topography and biophysical variables. The zones suitable for hydropower generation were then identified based on calculated hydropower energy using derived runoff volumes and hydraulic head. The model accuracy was checked using well established efficiency criteria: coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.98), RMSE-observations standard deviation ratio (RSR), Percent bias (PBIAS) and Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE). For all these parameters, the model was found to be performing satisfactorily.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-420
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing
Issue number3
Early online date6 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • GIS
  • Himalaya
  • Hydropower
  • Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency
  • renewable energy


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