Is hydropower clean? Our take on dams

American Rivers Hydropower Reform Initiative is one of our longest-running and best-known programs. We’ve been working with power companies and federal operators since we were founded nearly 40 years ago to try and reduce the harm to rivers from hydropower dams. As a result, we’re often asked if we see a tension between our serious… Read more »

Historic Water Agreement Reached on Upper Klamath Basin Water

The Klamath River, CA needs to be undammed to provide habitat for salmon and steelhead! | © Patrick McCully Working together the Klamath Tribes, U.S. Department of the Interior, Oregon Governor Kitzhaber, Senator Wyden (D-Ore), Senator Merkley (D-Ore), and upper Klamath River basin irrigators have reached an agreement [PDF] on long-standing disputes related to water… Read more »

Making Hydropower Dams Work Better

Reintroducing steelhead fry | Credit: Hydropower Reform Coalition It’s a good year for rivers. Last week, the National Park Service began chipping away at the Glines Canyon and Elwha Dams. When the dams are removed in 2-3 years, it’ll be the culmination of a nearly 30-year effort to restore the Elwha River and its fisheries…. Read more »

DamNation Sparks Conversation About Dams And Rivers

Learn more about hydropower reform in our Hydropower Reform Can Save Rivers video The new film DamNation, which won the Audience Choice award at SXSW, is introducing the concept of dam removal to new audiences and getting more people talking about river restoration. It’s an important and timely conversation, given the importance of healthy rivers… Read more »

The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act

A couple of weeksago, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act passed the full house with bi-partisan support.  The bill was co-sponsored by Cathy McMorris-Rogers (WA,R) and Diana DeGette (CO, D)  Quite an accomplishment in the current political climate!  The Bill does several things, here are some highlights: It raises the generation threshold from 5 megawatts to… Read more »

Keeping Water Flowing Over The Scenic Twin Falls Waterfall

This is a joint blog by John Seebach and Kevin Lewis, the Conservation Director of Idaho Rivers United. Pictured left, the authors after a full afternoon in the U.S. Senate and a DC summer thunderstorm Twin Falls Waterfall, ID | © Kevin Lewis Is a waterfall still a waterfall if there’s no water flowing over… Read more »

Restoring Savannah River Shoals: Two States, a Canal and a Redhorse

The Augusta Shoals is a critical reach of the Savannah River near Aiken, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia. “Shoals” are stretches of shallow, rocky rapids and were once common in Southeast Rivers – but many of these rivers have been drowned by dams. Shoals provide unique habitat for freshwater fish and mussels. More than 4… Read more »

Is Damming Every River in the US Really a Clean Energy Solution?

65.5 Gigawatts of energy of new hydropower on our rivers? Hair-raising indeed. The Department of Energy just published a report titled the “New Stream-reach Development Assessment: A Comprehensive Assessment of Hydropower Energy Potential in the United States.” This new report estimated the technical hydropower potential of the USA. The Department of Energy scientists did what… Read more »

Broad River, SC: Restoring Flows, Fish and Flowers

Running through the heart of Columbia, the Broad River is flowing once again to the benefit of rare rocky shoals spider lilies, resident and migratory fish and water-based recreation.  For decades the Broad River was dewatered, receiving only leakage flow from the Columbia Diversion Dam.  Now healthy flows up to 11 times more than before… Read more »