Analysis of Water Characteristics by the Hydropower Use (Up-Stream and Downstream): A Case of Study at Ecuador, Argentina, and Uruguay

  •  Sebastian Naranjo-Silva    
  •  Luis Rivera-Gonzalez    
  •  Kenny Escobar-Segovia    
  •  Omar Quimbita-Chiluisa    
  •  Javier Alvarez del Castillo    


This study aims to evaluate the water use characteristics of five hydropower stations in Ecuador, Uruguay, and Argentina to verify if the resource will change by their use on energy production, mainly to natural dam flow. The methodology is quantitative by taking water before inlet of the generation turbines (up-stream) and outlet of discharge after the process (downstream), there are ten samples to study for each one, at eleven physical-chemical parameters (three physical and eight chemical). This study found that hydropower projects analyzed present changes between inlet dammed water and outlet water from the turbine after generating electricity. The measured parameters are variables, some ranges demonstrate large deviations, for example, total dissolved solids with 100 mg/l, total solids 93 mg/l, and hardness 46 mg/l. There are differences between upstream and downstream water quality because the projects with dams stagnate the source of increasing development of the solids, verifying that the expansion of the extensive infrastructures, such as dams, generates the suspended matter presence, compared to outlet water at the discharge stage, these materials are clay, silt, organic material, vegetation decomposition, and living bodies such as algae, snails, and floating plants that produce opacity, which is the reason for the color difference in the samples. It recommends monthly sustainability plans for all hydropower projects to check the water conditions and ecosystems, monitoring climate behavior to issue improvements or fixes continuously.

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