After recent criticisms of dams for water storage and hydropower, emanating from certain NGOs, sometimes from misinformed decision makers, or expressed in pseudo-scientific papers, ICOLD and ICID Presidents decided to write to World Bank President to express their support for "for the development and implementation of well-run projects, to manage world water for the benefit of people, the prosperity of nations and the world."
The letter is public and can be downloaded here
Recently a study named “Should we build more large dams? The actual costs of hydropower megaproject development”, authored by Atif Ansar et al. has been released by the Said business school of the Oxford University. The main conclusion of the report is that large dams projects experienced cost and time overrun, that their benefit cost ratio is very low and that small project are to be preferred. As small dams may only ensure a few percent of the storage and energy provided by large dams, this presentation actually favors not the small dams, but the fossil fuel plants.
This study focuses on cost and time overrun without addressing the true challenges. It is suffering important drawbacks and methodology issues that we will detail.