Rivers are the lifeblood of America. They travel through virtually every community. They are the source of recreation, commerce, ecological stability and services, and even spiritual renewal. For some of these very same reasons, rivers are also a source of tension, controversy, and conflict. The past 100 years have witnessed an unprecedented level of development on our nation’s rivers.
Perhaps the most prevalent and dramatic change has been in the name of dam construction for electricity generation. While society has received some benefits for that development, it has also come with significant costs to the environment and non-developmental uses of our rivers. Fundamentally, it is this tension that we address in this report.