With identification and sound management of social issues, hydropower schemes have the capacity to significantly reduce poverty and enhance the quality of life in the communities they serve.
The challenge is to ensure that individuals and communities affected by a hydropower development benefit in areas such as improved living conditions, public health facilities, equitable distribution of benefits, social compensation measures.
New developments require comprehensive social imapct assessment, genuine community engagement, public acceptance, and monitoring of outcomes. The interlinkage with environmental and economic aspects of sustainable hydropower must be well understood.