A Big Dam Problem: The Global Boom in Hydroelectric Development
The era of big dam building ended in this country decades ago but elsewhere in the world, dams are being constructed at a staggering pace, mainly to produce hydropower. The impacts extend beyond conservation concerns to broader issues of environmental justice, global food security, climate change, and human rights. However, it is possible to develop hydropower in a sustainable manner. In this talk, I will address the drivers, impacts, and mitigation of global hydropower development. I will be drawing from my DOI-ITAP experience evaluating the impact of proposed dams on the Mekong as well as my research on hydropower worldwide.
Tim Mayer is currently the Regional Hydrologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Portland, Oregon, where he has worked since 1995. He earned a B.S. in Forest Resource Management from the University of Montana in Missoula, MT in 1981 and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from the Oregon Graduate Institute in Portland in 1995. His professional interests are in wetland hydrology, water quality and eutrophication, climate change, and the social and environmental impacts of dams. He lives with his family in Hood River, OR. In his spare time, he kites, windsurfs, hikes, backpacks, skis, and plays/composes music.