Nearly one-third of the world’s population has no access to electricity, and with uncertainty around fossils fuels and an increasing global population, this is likely to increase. Hydropower currently contributes one-fifth of the world’s power generation, and provides the majority of supply in over 55 countries. There is a global opportunity to expand hydropower development to meet the growing demand, but how to develop hydropower in a socially equitable and environmentally acceptable manner, is one of the greatest challenges at the start of the 21st century. This session will concentrate on showcasing the challenges, barriers and knowledge gaps associated within sustainable hydropower planning and operations, and how ecohydraulic research can support sustainable hydropower efforts. It will concentrate on case study examples around the world in dealing with sustainability issues. This session will be closely linked with a workshop that will concentrate on the ‘Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol’ and the implementation challenges around it for clients, companies, managers, and researchers.