GIS Hydropower Resource Mapping for ECOWAS Region

GIS Hydropower Resource Mapping for ECOWAS Region

Small and medium hydropower has a large potential for future development in West Africa, a region that is facing a constant shortage of energy supply and thereby limiting economic growth.

The river reaches suitable for small and medium hydropower development are mainly located in ungauged headwater areas. To assess the hydropower potential a regionalization of discharge data is required and the slope of the river reaches has to be determined.

In this project AFRY is assessing the hydropower potential of about 100,000 river reaches in the ECOWAS countries of West Africa. The data layers produced by AFRY will be integrated into the ECOWREX mapping system of the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE).

Hydrological Modelling

A detailed river network for the West African region is developed with GIS tools from digital  elevation models.

Discharge is estimated for each river reach with a water balance modelling approach, using rainfall and vapotranspiration data as inputs. Discharge data of about 400 gauges in the region enable calibration and evaluation of the results.

The modelling results are integrated in several GIS layers:

  • River-network layer showing hydropower potential
  • Sub-catchment layer showing regions suitable for small hydropower
  • Climate Change layers
  • Country reports

Project Impact

The impact of climate change on the flow regime and the hydropower potential assessed. The data layers produced by AFRY integrated into ECOWREX mapping system of ECREEE.

Facts about the project

Client: ECREEE – ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency


Services :

  • Water balance modelling
  • Hydropower potential assessment
  • Climate change impact assessment
  • GIS mapping

Ausführungszeitraum: 2015 – 2016

Location: 15 ECOWAS countries of West Africa

Philipp Stanzel
Hydrology, Flood Forecast, Climate Impact Research

Interested in our offering? Contact us!

Contact Philipp Stanzel

For sales enquiries, please complete this form. For all other enquiries, please visit our office and contacts page here.

AFRY is committed to protecting your privacy and keeping your personal data secure. We process personal data in accordance with the applicable laws, regulations and our privacy policy.