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Uncommon Dialogue | Hydropower, River Restoration, and Public Safety

Hearings, Letters, Reports, Legislation & Workshops

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Reports

Innovative and Advanced Hydropower Technology Can Improve Environmental Performance, Generation Efficiency, and Grid Resilience (October 2022)

This white paper, produced by Uncommon Dialogue Working Group 1, highlights innovative approaches to a climate-ready, river-friendly hydropower industry that operates safe and resilient U.S. infrastructure. The paper focuses primarily on opportunities for innovations and technologies in hydropower, as well as dam safety and dam removal. It also recommends actions and next steps to advance dam rehabilitation and retrofitting, while highlighting the need for continued research into dam removal.

Relevant Hearings

House Committee on Energy & Commerce -- Subcommittee on Energy Hearing on "Modernizing Hydropower: Licensing and Reforms for a Clean Energy Future" (May 12, 2022)

  • Testimony by Malcolm Woolfe, President and CEO, National Hydropower Association
  • Testimony by Tom Kiernan, CEO, American Rivers
  • Testimony by Mary Pavel, Partner, Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry LLC

Senate Committee on Natural Resources - Full Committee Hydropower Hearing (January 11, 2022)

  • Testimony by Malcolm Woolfe, President and CEO National Hydropower Association
  • Written Comments by American Rivers and the Hydropower Reform Coalition

Related Letters

Joint comments responding to Department of Energy Request for Information on Hydroelectric Incentive Programs (September 2022)

Joint response from eight Uncommon Dialogue participant organizations from the industry, dam safety, and ENGO caucuses to Department of Energy Request for Information DE-FOA-0002762, which sought input on the implementation of the $630 million in DOE hydroelectric incentive programs (Sections 243 and 247) funded under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.

Letter from hydropower industry members in support of the Licensing Reform Package (July 2022)

Letter from 35 hydropower companies and organizations to Congressional leaders in support of the Uncommon Dialogue proposed Federal Power Act revisions on dam licensing, relicensing and license surrender.

Letter from former FERC Commissioners and Chairs in support of the Licensing Reform Package (July 2022)

Letter from Norman Bay, Neil Chatterjee, Tony Clark and Philip D. Moeller to Congressional leaders in support of the Uncommon Dialogue proposed Federal Power Act revisions on dam licensing, relicensing and license surrender.

Appropriations Committees Letter (June 2022)

Letter to the House and Senate appropriations committees from dam safety officials, civil engineers, river conservation organizations, and the hydropower industry regarding funding for dam rehabilitation, retrofitting, and removal in the 2023 fiscal year.

Agency Letters (December 2021 and January 2022)

Letters to federal agency leaders from dam safety groups, river conservation organizations, and hydropower industry about implementation of 21st Century Dams Act provisions included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Congressional Letter (March 2021)

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.

Stakeholder Letters (October 2020)

In letters to leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and administration officials of relevant federal agencies,  the Parties to the Joint Statement of Collaboration wrote to transmited the agreement.

Workshops

UCD Innovations for Sustainability-Water Quality Workshop (February 1, 2024)

The Innovations for Sustainability-Water Quality Workshop was produced by the Uncommon Dialogue’s Working Group 1 (Technology) and Working Group 4 (Valuation). This workshop highlighted the development and deployment of several innovative technologies that help improve water quality at hydropower projects. The workshop also included a robust discussion on obstacles/barriers, as well as opportunities for advancing these technologies.

UCD Innovations for Dam Safety Workshop (April 26, 2024)

The Innovations for Dam Safety Workshop was produced by the Uncommon Dialogue’s Working Group 1 (Technology) and Working Group 2 (Dam Safety). This workshop highlighted the role of innovation in dam safety for hydropower operations, public safety, and environmental sustainability.  The workshop focused on innovations and technologies related to collaborative technical assistance, modernizing dam assessments, and using artificial intelligence to improve hydropower and dam safety operations.