Research project

PEGASUS: producing energy and preventing hazards from surface water storage in Peru

This project assesses the opportunities and threats that rapidly evolving landscapes, and natural resources, will bring to the people and businesses of three glacierised Cordilleras of the Peruvian Andes.

On this page
Snow capped mountains around a frozen lake
Status

Active

Start date

January 2019

Completion date

January 2021

Funding

Funders

The Newton-Paulet Fund (through Natural Environment Research Council – NERC)

The Peruvian Andes are home to 71% of the world's tropical glaciers. The meltwater they supply is essential to downstream communities for irrigation, sanitation and hydropower; 40% of Peru's electricity is supplied through meltwater-fed hydropower. Peru's glaciers are receding rapidly, threatening this supply, but also revealing topographic depressions that may become natural reservoirs for glacier runoff. The potential use of these meltwater lakes for water storage and hydropower needs careful consideration as they can burst, posing a flood risk to downstream people and infrastructure.

This project assesses the opportunities and threats that rapidly evolving landscapes will bring to the communities of three glacierised Cordilleras of the Peruvian Andes. This assessment will integrate consultations with government, a hydropower company and, crucially, community stakeholders. The recommendations will support hydropower sustainability, water use management and formulate policies that reflect stakeholder needs and the potential hazards that unstable mountain environments may pose to lives and livelihoods in future years.

People

Project lead(s)

Dr Simon Cook

External team members

The University of Leeds
The University of Hull
Northumbria University
Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco (UNSAAC)
Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología, Lima (UTEC)

Enquiries