Book promotes understanding among hydro stakeholders

Panelists with diverse viewpoints on hydropower development united July 31 to unveil The Power of Water, a new comprehensive book on hydropower.

Published by Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt (DVA) of Germany, the book contains opinions from a broad range of experts, including prominent environmental representatives, as well as individuals from the World Bank, the International Hydropower Association, the World Commission on Dams, and the United Nations.

Dr. Hubert Lienhard, president and chief executive officer of Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation, called The Power of Water an accessible, comprehensive overview of hydropower’s technical applications, as well as its social and economic implications.

He noted the book has distinct chapters, each depicting a diverse experience with hydropower around the world, �from the Indian chief to Three Gorges.�

�It leaves it for the reader to make up his mind,� Lienhard said. �And if it helps to bring more facts into his opinion, it has served its purpose.�

Lienhard: Book reflects a change in attitude

Lienhard noted Voith Siemens supported creation of the book, which was edited by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung journalist Georg Kuffner. He said it reflects a change in attitude by Voith Siemens regarding hydropower, departing from the idea of unilateral decisionmaking by the hydro industry.

�When we talked about this book in the beginning, we said it had to be pro-hydro,� he said. �But the more we worked with it, the more we liked it.�

Executive Director Linda Church Ciocci of the National Hydropower Association, U.S., said she enjoyed the book’s tracing of waterpower development from ancient times through the Industrial Revolution up to the next generation of ocean and tidal technologies. She said The Power of Water impressed her with the way hydropower is serving vast global needs and how hydro can continue to be developed on a sustainable basis.

Alessandro Palmieri of the World Bank said the book helps illustrate how hydropower should be sustainably developed by taking into account environmental and social considerations and by ensuring its benefits are shared equitably. He emphasized the importance of multipurpose water projects to bring water, power, irrigation, and economic development to poor nations of the world.

�Hydropower pays the bill for the common good,� Palmieri said.

Book promotes common understanding

Jaime Pinkham of the Portland-based Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission brought a tribal perspective to the panel, saying the Indian’s view of the �power of water� is its ability to nurture both man and nature, cleansing the body and soul. He said the book points out that the future of hydropower requires — more than politics and economics — a deeper understanding of history and culture.

�The book helps drive us toward a common understanding,� Pinkham said, noting modern hydro projects in the developing world can benefit from the experiences in the Pacific Northwest, where a struggle continues to try to restore salmon runs.

Lienhard summed up that hydropower must remain a significant part of the world’s energy mix now that 2.5 billion people have crucial needs for goods and energy.

DVA developed and published The Power of Water in cooperation with Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation and Voith. Its publication was announced at a panel presentation in conjunction with the HydroVision 2006 conference, July 31-Aug. 4 in Portland.

The Power of Water was available at the conference from organizer HCI Publications. It is to be available after the conference from HCI, E-mail:; Internet:

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