Hydropower plants in northern India contributed to the devastating floods that hit India last year, a government report has claimed.

According to reports from Reuters, a study commissioned by the Ministry of Environment and Forests said that hydropower plants had contributed to the build up of sediments in river, which raised riverbeds during floods and, when washed downstream, increased the severity of the flooding.

The report suggested that hydropower projects should be managed more effectively to prevent future problems, and that the impacts of projects should be considered region-wide, rather than looking at them individually. It also suggested that hydro projects that would have ‘significant and irreversible impacts on biodiversity values’ should be rejected.

The report rejected claims that breaching of dams bought on by landslides, and deforestation, contributed to the extent of the flooding.