Big dams have a bad reputation. They’re often associated with social disruption and environmental damage. That perception is now shifting. The challenges of climate, urbanisation and economic growth in countries and communities already burdened by poverty and underdevelopment is leading to a radical change in attitudes. Dams and related water infrastructures are once again being recognised as key contributors to a prosperous and, as important, sustainable future.Developing countries need reliable water supplies for their predominantly poor populations. They also need to expand their energy production in ways that don’t aggravate climate change.This is why changes in the attitudes towards dams are most evident in the energy sector. Demands for energy to power cities are growing rapidly. So too are the energy needs in rural areas – to cultivate, process and transport crops as well as to drive the irrigation systems that underpin food security and light the lives of rural communities.
Resistance to hydropower is evaporating as science takes centre stage