The Power of Flows: Negotiating Sustainable Hydropower through Environmental Flows

Alliance for Global Water Adaptation; Colorado State University; Conservation International; Global Environmental Flows Network; International Union for Conservation of Nature; Itaipu Binacional; RTI International; Stockholm Environment Institute; Stockholm International Water Institute; Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences; UNESCO – Institute for Water Education; Universidad Estadual do Oeste do Parana; University of Karlstad; University of Umeå and World Wide Fund for Nature

This event was webcasted live - please visit SIWI Media Hub to watch live as well as on demand.


The promise of sustainable hydropower has proven elusive and controversial. How can we ground sustainability in resilient ecosystems and the natural flow regime while providing sufficient energy for dynamic, growing economies? Is it possible to include ecosystems as performance markers, or should we use "protective" regulatory approaches? Do we need different methodologies in developed relative to developing economies? What does sustainability mean in regions with limited eco-hydrological records? Emerging trends in environmental flows enable a broader view of nexus issues and long-term sustainability.


New tools for infrastructure design and management and scientific assessment suggest that effective decision-making frameworks can achieve poverty alleviation and energy security with ecological integrity in both developing and developed eocnomies.


In this seminar, we will actively define sustainability for hydropower by engaging speakers and attendees, confronting tools, cases, policy, and science to energize the practice of managing flows for power and ecosystems.

14:00  Welcome - James Dalton, IUCN
14:05  Introduction: Defining Sustainability across Scales
          John Matthews, Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA)

Local Scales: Populations, Infrastructure, Water Managers


14:15  Fishing for the Environment in Brazil: Hydropower and Fish Migration
           Mr. Domingo Fernandez, ITAIPU
           Prof. Sergio Makrakis, Paraná University, Brazil
           Ms. Maristela Makrakis, West Paraná University, Brazil
14:30  Experiences from Swedish Ecoflows
           Dr. Birgitta Malm-Renöfält, UMU, Sweden
           Prof. Larry Greenberg, KAU, Sweden
           Dr. Olle Calles, KAU, Sweden

Basin Scales: Networks and Communities

15:00  Untangling Upstream-Downstream Impacts at High Definition
           Mr. Robert Dykes, RTI
15:15  Allocation, Connectivity, and Electricity
           Dr. Bart Wickel, SEI


15:30  Cofee Break and roundtable discussion on flows and hydropower
           Mr. Domingo Fernandez, ITAIPU
           Dr. Olle Calles, KAU, Sweden

16:00  Introduction to Theme

National Scales: Managing Across Sectors, Policies, and Ministries

16:15  Moving from Basin to National Water Environmental Allocation:
the Mexico National Water Reserves Programs
           Dr. Eugenio Barrios, WWF
           Mr. Mario Lopez, CONAGUA, Mexico
16:30  Bold Action to Conserve Rivers of the Caucusus: Georgia’s Environmental Flows Strategy:
           Prof. Michael McClain
16:45  Panel Discussion
           Moderator: Dr. Jamie Pittock, Australian National University

  • Dr. Chris Dickens (South African Institute of Natural Resources)
  • Dr. LeRoy Poff (Colorado State University)
  • Ms. Susanne Schmeier (GiZ)
  • Dr. Rebecca Tharme (TNC)
  • Dr. Michael van der Valk (Infovision), 

17:25    Conclusions and Next Steps

17:30    End of Seminar

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Tuesday 14:00-17:30
Room T2
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