LIHI Certification

Low Impact Hydropower Certification

In October of 2004, the Bowersock Project was the 15th hydropower project in the nation to be certified as “Low Impact” by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI). Bowersock is proud to have earned this certification. We believe our certification confirms and reflects our values as operators, but perhaps, most importantly, our engagement with LIHI has also helped us to become a more informed, responsible, and aspirational hydropower plant.

What is Low Impact Hydropower?

“There are thousands of hydropower dams in the United States located on many of our most important rivers and streams. These dams create pollution-free energy, but they can also produce significant adverse impacts on fish and wildlife and other resources.” Projects that achieve Low Impact Certification have avoided or reduced their environmental impacts pursuant to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute’s Criteria. Assessing whether a facility is Low Impact requires a comprehensive evaluation. Low Impact is not defined by size or specific operational parameters alone, but by all of the following:

  • Water quality supportive of fish & wildlife resources and human uses
  • Safe, timely, and effective upstream and downstream fish passage
  • Protection, mitigation, and enhancement of the soils, vegetation, and ecosystem functions in the watershed
  • Ecological flow regimes that support healthy habits
  • Protection of threatened and endangered species
  • Avoidance of impacts on cultural and historic resources
  • Recreational access is provided without fee or charge

No technology is without environmental impact. Hydropower is uniquely intertwined with the natural world around it, which can raise its environmental risk profile. Only hydropower facilities that meet strict, science-based guidelines to protect river habitat and resources receive Low Impact Certification.

LIHI is dedicated to reducing the impacts of hydropower by recognizing projects which actively protect river ecosystems.

Bowersock is honored to support the efforts of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute. For more information about LIHI, please visit the LIHI website (