Global Water Security Center

Providing decision makers with the most reliable, ground-breaking research, applied scientific techniques, and best practices so that the hydrologic cycle and its potential impacts can be put in a context for appropriate action and response by the United States

Penny Beames, Human-Environmental Analyst

Penny Beames has 15 years of international work and research experience in water resources, water sharing, and the effects of dams and reservoirs on human and non-human systems. Her initial experience was grounded in the humanities and social sciences. Her work in India centred around the Indus Waters Treaty, and she earned a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University with a specialization in transboundary water sharing in 2012.

Subsequent work in Southeast Asia centered around changing water dynamics in the Mekong River, where she contributed to World Bank and ADB projects on climate change in the Mekong Delta, fisheries in the Tonle Sap, and flood and drought mitigation planning in Lower Mekong cities.In 2016 she transitioned into scientific research.

Over five years of graduate studies at McGill University, she studied the effects of dam and reservoir development at the global scale. She was instrumental in updating the Global Reservoir and Dam Database (GRanD), which has been used in hundreds of studies on topics ranging from irrigation potential to delta subsidence. She also led a SESYNC-supported international research consortium to gather and harmonize global dam data.