In 1985, a small group of volunteers formed International Rivers Network. Their vision was simple and yet remarkably ambitious: to develop a worldwide network to protect rivers and promote just and sustainable energy development.

For over 35 years, we have successfully supported river defenders as leaders in the global movement. Our work has included catalyzing the formation of the World Commission on Dams, a gold standard for water and energy planning, as well as convincing the world’s largest dam-builder, China’s Sinohydro, to adopt precedent-setting social and environmental policy.

In recognition of these achievements, International Rivers was awarded the 2013 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions for “applying science, rigorous policy analysis, and strategic advocacy.”

Our Impact


Number of dam projects we have delayed, prevented, or stopped in collaboration with our partners around the world.


Amount of USD channeled away from destructive dams and needless financial risk.


Number of river basins we’ve worked in, covering 17% of the earth’s total land area.


Number of grassroots organizations supported financially to protect rivers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.


Number of NGO partners around the world.


International Rivers was voted the most influential NGO by the hydropower industry in a 2015 survey by the International Hydropower Association.