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U.S. Hydropower: Climate Solution and Conservation Challenge

U.S. Hydropower

Climate Solution & Conservation Challenge

U.S. Environmental Community and Hydropower Industry Issue Joint Statement of Collaboration

This page includes information related to an agreement between the U.S. hydropower industry and environmental and conservation organizations that is the product of a two-and-a-half year dialogue entitled “Hydropower: Climate Solution and Conservation Challenge.” The “Joint Statement of Collaboration” is the result of a diverse range of organizations, companies, government agencies and universities committed to charting hydropower’s role in a U.S. clean energy future in a way that also supports healthy rivers.  To rapidly and substantially decarbonize the nation’s electricity system, the parties to the Joint Statement recognize the role that U.S. hydropower plays as an important renewable energy resource and for integrating variable solar and wind power into the U.S. electric grid.  At the same time, our nation’s waterways, and the biodiversity and ecosystem services they sustain, are vulnerable to the compounding factors of a changing climate, habitat loss and alteration of river processes. The parties have identified seven areas for joint collaboration. Over the next 60 days, the parties have agreed to invite other key stakeholders, including tribal governments and state officials, to join the collaboration, and to address implementation priorities, decision-making, timetables, and resources.

The Joint Statement was developed under a Stanford Uncommon Dialogue co-convened by Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment, the Stanford Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, and the Energy Futures Initiative.

On Apri 23, 2021, the parties released a proposal, "Climate Change, River Conservation, Hydropower and Public Safety: An Infrastructure Proposal for the Biden Administration and Congress," which makes recommendations on spending in a federal infrastructure package and related legislation to advance both the clean energy and electricity storage benefits of hydropower and the environmental, safety, and economic benefits of healthy rivers.

For more information, see links below. Scroll further for contact information.

Removal of a dam in Maryland

$2.3 billion to improve or remove U.S. dams included in new federal infrastructure bill in wake of a Stanford Uncommon Dialogue agreement.


LA Times reports on $63-billion proposal for dam safety, rehabilitation and removal, federal agency support, and clean energy production.

Dam in wyoming

Recommendations on spending in a federal infrastructure package and related legislation on clean energy and electricity storage benefits of hydropower as well as the environmental, safety, and economic benefits of healthy rivers.

US Capitol

In a letter to President Biden, 40 members of Congress cited Stanford’s process to reach a joint statement between environmental and hydropower groups in requesting the inclusion of funding to retrofit, rehabilitate and remove dams in the proposed infrastructure package.

Niagara Falls

Q&A with Dan Reicher, Senior Research Scholar at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment  - Stanford News Service

Hoover Dam

Facing a climate crisis, environmental groups and industry agree to work together to bolster hydropower while reducing harm from dams. - New York Times


Message from William Robert (Bob) Irvin, President of American Rivers, on new agreement.

Uncommon Dialogue graphic

Message from Malcolm Woolf, President and CEO of the National Hydropower Association, on new agreement.

Dam and water

The American Wind Energy Association issued a statement on the new agreement. - REVE


After more than two years of talking, environment and industry groups say they’ll work together to address climate change. - KUOW | NPR

Snake river

Joint statement proposes collaboration to address climate change and conservation - The National Law Review

Mavens Notebook

In national water news today, Stanford’s Dan Reicher on new agreement on U.S. hydropower and river conservation. - Mavens Notebook

Contacts Regarding the Joint Statement of Collaboration

Dan Reicher, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment:

Jeanette Pablo, Energy Futures Initiative:

Media Contacts

LeRoy Coleman, National Hydropower Association: (202) 682-1700, ext. 210,

Amy Kober, American Rivers: (503) 708-1145,

David Ellis, Energy Futures Initiative: (202) 688-0010,

Devon Ryan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment: (650) 497-0444,