Hydrological studies for the Salto Grande Hydroelectric Plant and the Uruguay River Basin

Client: Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID)
Water, Environment & Territory
Environmental Engineering

Together with OFITECO and DHI, CSI Ingenieros was hired to consult on the conduction of hydrological studies on the dam reservoir and of the Uruguay river basin.
The Salto Grande Hydroelectric Dam is located on the Uruguay river, between Concordia (Argentina) and Salto (Uruguay). Electrical power generated at the Plant feeds the interconnected systems in both countries, supplying, on average, 50% of the energy used in Uruguay and 7% of energy used in Argentina. The study included a detailed analysis of previous studies, of all historical data available and of the identification and assessment of the dam’s impact on the hydrological behavior of the basin.

Project Scope

The following studies were conducted:
- Probable Maximum Precipitation analysis for the Uruguay river basin in Salto Grande.
- Analysis of the implications of this Probable Maximum Precipitation on the Probable Maximum Hydrological Flow; assessing and recommending actions to mitigate their impact on the Hydroelectric Plant.
- Estimation of impact of future contributions on the Hydroelectric Plant reservoir, analyzing the current state of the basin and possible future changes, including considerations on climate change and the likely construction of dams in Argentina and Brazil.
- Creating scenarios of hydrological flow contributions to the Plant reservoir in the medium and long term to determine possible changes in the strength of the flows to be used to produce energy, and evaluate likely modifications to the power capacity of the plant when updating the equipment.