Promoters of Progress, Public and Private

By Kris Polly

Progress in hydropower is pushed forward by private companies; federal, state, and provincial entities; and even local agencies. All those levels are on view in this month’s Hydro Leader. 

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) funds important research into hydropower, marine energy, and freshwater hydrokinetic power. WPTO Hydropower Program Manager Timothy Welch tells us about its new research, including the development of modular hydropower projects in remote locations in Alaska, and the importance of pumped storage for the future of the grid. 

We also speak with Nick Lesnikoswki of David Evans and Associates, Inc., about the firm’s underwater dam monitoring services, which involve bathymetric data, remotely operated vehicles, sonar, and more. 

Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the provincially owned entity that generates half the electricity used by the Canadian province of Ontario, is refurbishing older hydro stations as part of its efforts to achieve a net-zero carbon future. Paul Burroughs, OPG’s director of project management for renewable generation, tells us more. 

CEATI International is a research and advisory firm that provides answers to its members’ difficult operational questions by leveraging the expertise and experience of their peers in the industry. Vice President Chris Hayes and Head of Marketing Lizzie Smith tell us about the benefits CEATI can deliver to hydro utilities. 

Russell Berry, the president of Intake Screens, Inc., and John Burnett, its director of technical services, tell us about the company’s custom, industrial-grade screen systems and its services for hydro facilities. 

Finally, we speak with three water professionals, Rachel Little, Amanda Newell, and Julia Pinnix, about Kids in the Creek, an educational program that helps high schoolers in north-central Washington State learn about the hydrology, biology, and multiple uses of waterways. 

From federal agencies in Washington, DC, to local-level initiatives like Kids in the Creek, water resources professionals are always promoting progress. Wherever you may find yourself, I hope that this issue of Hydro Leader inspires you to join in. 

Kris Polly is the editor-in-chief of Hydro Leader magazine and the president and CEO of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations firm he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He may be contacted at