Webinar series

FutureDAMS keynote online seminar series

The first programme of FutureDAMS keynote online seminars conculded in November 2021. It was delivered by thought-leading speakers, discussing the future of sustainable infrastructure in water-energy-food-environment systems, reflecting on three years of FutureDAMS research. A second programme of fortnightly seminars will run from January to March 2022.

Series 1: Find the programme and recordings here.

Series 2: 


The seminars explore the findings of the FutureDAMS Research Consortium and draw on the experience of leading researchers to give their perspective on the technics and politics that shape decisions about dams and major water management infrastructure. FutureDAMS research has contributed to technical advances in assessing the costs and benefits of dams but has also revealed the limited ability of scientific analysis to guide the political actors who take decisions about selecting, designing and managing major investments in dams and water management.

Past webinars

Find recordings of all FutureDAMS previous webinars below, categorised by research theme. Click on the + icon to show more information. You can also view all the videos on YouTube on the FutureDAMS playlist

Social science webinars

Resettlement of Gumuz communities around Ethiopia's Blue Nile dam
Exploring the programme of resettlement of Gumuz farmers and others living at low altitude along the Nile and Beles rivers, whose home areas are expected to be flooded on completion of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and filling of a new reservoir.

By Sarah Vaughan. Click for more information

Designing dams that don't cost the Earth
Why it is so difficult to build dams without negative impacts, and to share their benefits equitably?

Presented by Bill Adams. Click to watch on YouTube

Impacts of the Gibe III, Ethiopia: A social-ecological systems approach
Presenting SIDERA: identifying pathways towards equitable and sustainable outcomes in terms of poverty reduction, resilience, and peace and security for the 1 million people in the Lower Omo impacted by state-led mega projects and development interventions.

By Jenny Hodbod. Click to watch the recording

Hydropower with Chinese characteristics
The focus of this webinar is the dynamics and safeguarding practices of Chinese overseas hydropower investments, providing insight into whether practices are improving and what is driving this.

By Lila Buckley and Professor Wang Hua.
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A multi-method approach to explore the purpose, performance and potential of Water User Associations

This webinar presents the latest FutureDAMS research on the role of Water User Associations (WUAs) in community-based water management. 

By Dr Kavin Narasimhan, Centre for Research in Social Simulation, University of Surrey
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Political science and governance webinars

The World Commission on Dams: A new consensus on large dams?

In this webinar, Christopher Schulz discusses the WCD’s journey towards their consensual final report and its impacts, focusing both on WCD’s role for global dam policy and as its status as a model for global multi-stakeholder dialogue.

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Politics, power and ambition in Ethiopia's electricity sector

Tom Lavers, Biruk Terrefe and Fana Gebresenbet present their research, which highlights the importance of power relations between politicians and the bureaucracy, the political interests of the ruling party and the dominant ideas shaping politics and the electricity sector.

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Meeting Africa’s Latest Dam Builders: The Indian ExIm Bank, ‘Entrepreneurial’ Companies and the Outcomes of South-South Cooperation
A case study of the Nyabarongo Dam (Rwanda), examining India’s dam building in Africa and the potential differences in thier financing, planning and construction of dams.

By Barnaby Dye
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Engaging stakeholders in water-energy-food-environment systems modelling
The launch of the FutureDAMS guide to ‘Engaging stakeholders in water-energy-food-environment systems assessment and planning‘. The approach to considering development options with a broad range of stakeholders

By David Hulme, Barnaby Dye and Emmanuel Obuobie. Chaired by Judith Pluummer Braeckman.
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Climate finance for hydropower – Incentivising the low carbon transition
Discussing the role of climate financiers in supporting hydropower, and why hydropower project developers should be interested in the benefits of accessing climate finance

By Sejal Patel and Neha Rai
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Hydropower finance – complexity, risk and private sector investment
Discussing the complexity of hydropower finance in low income countries, the role that the private sector may play and the risks which must be addressed in order to attract more private sector investment to large hydropower projects in low-income countries in the future.

By Judith Plummer Braeckman and Sanna Markannen.
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Economic analysis webinars

The ex-ante economic analysis of investments in large dams: a brief history
In this presentation Dale and Kerry explore the history of the ex-ante economic analysis of large dams through the discussion of six key developments that have occurred since the 1950s

By Dale Whittington and Kerry Smith.
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Alternative models of irrigation development in Ghana
Exploring how alternative bio-physical, socio-economic, and institutional characteristics of irrigation developments influence welfare outcomes for smallholders.

By Roshan Adhikari.
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Financing national scale energy projects in developing countries - An economy-wide evaluation of Ghana’s Bui Dam
Considering the case of the Bui Dam in Ghana, we use a macroeconomic approach to determine how the economic performance of critical energy infrastructure manifests during the construction, financing and operation phases

By Alvaro Calzadilla.
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Why the economics of dams is so hard
Water economics needs to be more about bargaining and less about optimisation…

By Michael Hanemann.
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Have irrigation developments in Africa delivered the benefits they promised?
Discussing findings a FutureDAMS study  quantifying how the size of large-scale irrigation schemes successfully compares to the initial project proposals, and what factors contribute to any observed discrepancies.

By Tom Higginbottom.
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System exploration and strategic design webinars

River basins and energy systems – what synergies are possible and how can they be discovered?
Presenting a framework developed by FutureDAMS which uses new methods of jointly designing river basins and energy systems

By Julien Harou.
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Integrating natural and built infrastructure in water resource development: what’s stopping us?
Discussing how to support the planning and design of integrated natural and built infrastructure and scale up the use of nature based solutions with the effective use of trusted tools.

By Mark Smith and Matthew McCartney
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How can decision making on dams be improved?
Professor Julien Harou presents an outline of the FutureDAMS research agenda, and how it could improve decision making around new dams, at the International Hydropower Association in September 2018.

Watch the recording.

New approaches for shared resource systems under conflict
Julien Harou introduces the FutureDAMS project and presents the principles underpinning the project and our latest research, introducing examples of real world systems using advanced analytics to support the decision making of coalitions of stakeholders.

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Dams and greenhouse gas emissions - implications for decarbonising Ghana's energy

The webinar  presents the latest FutureDAMS research on the implications of hydro dams for decarbonising Ghana’s energy consistent with Paris climate objectives. 

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