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The Way Forward


"No generation before ours would have asked the question, 'Can we save earth's rivers?' It has an ominous ring: how can it possibly be up to us to save earth’s rivers? But the degree of our dominion over rivers has put us in exactly this position. Most rivers are no longer controlled by nature, but by us."

-Sandra Postel and Brian Richter, in their book Rivers for Life

The Earth's rivers are indeed endangered. Large dams and diversions are the primary culprit for the massive changes to ecosystems and communities. In the face of a changing climate, the question of saving earth's rivers is even more pressing. Here is our three-part plan on ways forward to reverse this decline.

Climate Change


International Rivers works on three key areas where climate change, dams and rivers intersect:

Follow the Money


Dams are a risky business – for affected people, the environment, and investors. Technical problems, opposition by affected people and corruption can derail multi-billion dollar projects. Due to the big risks, finance is the weakest link in many dam projects. Funders often decide which projects go forward, and which standards they have to meet.