Exploring the ‘We Can, With Hydropower’ Campaign

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Exploring the ‘We Can, With Hydropower’ Campaign


September 6, 2022


Will Rule, Senior Communications Officer, International Hydropower Association


Exploring the ‘We Can, With Hydropower’ Campaign

NHA thanks our sponsors:

Kleinschmidt Associates

The International Hydropower Association’s ongoing online campaign — “We can, with hydropower” – is one simple answer to promoting sustainable hydropower’s role throughout the world in the clean energy transition.

Under the hashtag #WithHydropower, the campaign brings together a series of impactful messages that can be adapted to different regional and local contexts.

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is leading the campaign, which is backed and delivered by a coalition of progressive hydropower organizations around the world.


What are the messages being conveyed through the campaign?

Four main ones:

  • As the oldest and largest source of renewable energy on the planet, hydropower has a crucial role to play in combatting climate change. No other clean technology can provide the storage and flexibility needed at scale to enable net zero carbon emissions.
  • To limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C / 2.7°F above pre-industrial levels, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports that we need a doubling of hydropower capacity by 2050.
  • Yet, according to analyses in the IHA’s 2022 Hydropower Status Report, the world is falling drastically behind course for net zero when it comes to hydropower development.
  • In short, hydropower needs a huge upscaling of capacity to curb the devastating effects of climate change, and not enough development is in the pipeline.

WHY WE NEED #WithHydropower

The global hydropower industry can learn a lot from other renewable sectors when it comes to coordinated messaging. Wind and solar have enjoyed tremendous successes in recent years, much of which has been to the result of presenting a clear and consistent case for investment.

This is where #WithHydropower comes in. Speaking with a united voice, the campaign calls for urgent investment in hydropower to ensure that hydropower capacity grows at a fast enough rate to reach net-zero targets. The messages of the campaign are easy to understand and can be applied consistently anywhere in the world.

The campaign features an immersive digital site and a robust social media operation.

The campaign provides hydropower ambassadors and influencers with a framework of key messages and accompanying graphics that can be used to further amplify messaging.


The campaign is designed to put a spotlight on the benefits hydropower can provide to society if developed responsibly and sustainably. The benefits consist of seven central themes:

  1. Making net zero goals a reality
  2. Keeping the lights on with green energy
  3. Providing affordable energy for generations
  4. Storing wind and solar energy in water
  5. Decarbonizing industries with clean energy
  6. Protecting communities from floods and droughts
  7. Developing renewable energy sustainably

Developed through consultation with campaign partners, these messages were created to tell hydropower’s story and demonstrate to the world in understandable terms why hydropower is central to the clean energy transition.

The messages are also crafted in a call-and-response style to interplay with the campaign’s overarching slogan, “We can, with hydropower.”


The “We can, with hydropower” campaign is facilitated by IHA, and the funding and guidance is provided by a taskforce comprised of industry partners, who are listed on the campaign website, including: NHA, Gilkes, Southern Company, Stantec, and Voith. The campaign’s activities and messages are shaped through consultation with the communication leaders from partner organizations.

Any organization can contribute funding or in-kind support to the campaign, and IHA encourages anyone, whether they be an individual, a member of IHA, or someone who has never engaged with IHA before, to get involved in spreading the campaign’s messages using the #WithHydropower hashtag.

To date, the campaign has achieved significant reach. On social media, over one million impressions have been garnered from IHA’s accounts, with many millions more reached through the campaign partners’ platforms and the hashtag.

The “We can, with hydropower campaign” campaign has been brought to the attention of federal officials in Washington D.C., as well as leadership at and the World Bank, and the messages have been shared by former world leaders and United Nations diplomats.

Looking ahead, the campaign also established the world’s first Global Hydropower Day, which will take place on October 11, 2022.

Global Hydropower Day will leverage the voice of the global sustainable hydropower community to shine a light on the benefits the technology brings to society.

There is still work to be done, and the campaign will evolve as momentum gathers.

Find out more at hydropower.org/wecan.

If you are interested in taking part in this important campaign, please get in touch with our team at communications@hydropower.org.