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[17 Jan 2019 | Topics: ]

Nepal’s hydropower boom needs strategic assessment and public oversight

Children crossing a bridge across Budhi Gandaki River in Arughat, Nepal (Photo by Eugene Sim0nov)
Prologue: A tale of two dams
In 2017, I visited 1,200 MW Budhi Gandaki hydropower project, 70 kilometers from Kathmandu, and found many similarities with the Egiin Gol hydropower project in Mongolia, long monitored by our RwB Coalition. 
Both projects were designed in the 1970s Soviet-school mega-hydropower planning style, both have not progressed in 40 years. In both cases, the international consultancy Tractebel Engineering proposed to increase dam height …

Solidarity »

[16 Jan 2019 | Topics: ]

In 2018 at least 126 Colombian human rights activists have been killed according to Frontline Defender’s report, some of those killings are related  to the valley of Cauca River   altered by the Hidroituango hydropower project. Over last several years many activists protesting dam establishment  disappeared or have been killed by dam proponents. 
Since April 2018 this project is also haunted by tremendous engineering challenges due to landslides and mistakes in design which brought construction to a halt. Up to 25 000 people were placed under threat of imminent flooding …

Solidarity »

We are getting used to it: “No one was killed, we are happy” –became a standard  reaction to “better” incidents at large-scale dams   which are on the rise this year. So far in 2018 just on the RwB’s record large dam accidents happened in China, Colombia, Kenya, Laos, Myanmar, Russia. On December 13, in a “mild man made emergency” one of three gates of Dicle dam on Tigris has broken pouring water in unprepared downstream valley and partially submerging UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides poor maintenance and lack of  public …

Greening Silk Road, Solidarity »

[29 Nov 2018 | Topics: ]

Greed, corruption and vanity – are main driving forces not letting large dams to sink despite the obvious fact they no longer make economic sense. New brilliant article in Yale 360 proves that.
The rise of wind and solar power, coupled with the increasing social, environmental and financial costs of hydropower projects, could spell the end of an era of big dams. But even anti-dam activists say it’s too early to declare the demise of large-scale hydro.

Dynamics of annual hydropower installation globally according to data from International hydropower association –IHA (MW) …

Featured, Solidarity »

Degradation of UN institutions catering to special interest groups has reached a new height. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) in March 2018 started a partnership “Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions” with the Itaipu Binacional Hydropower (Brazil-Paraguay) company which holds the world record of annual energy production for a hydroelectric plant. It also holds a record of environmental destruction. Therefore decades after reservoir completion significant resources are still devoted by the company to offset its disastrous impact on biodiversity and well-being of local communities. In …

Solidarity »

[22 Nov 2018 | Topics: ]

On 19 November 2018, the Council of Foreign Affairs of the European Union (EU) adopted conclusions on water diplomacy
which promote accession and implementation of the Water Convention
.

The Council recalls that water is a prerequisite for human survival and dignity and a fundamental basis for the resilience of both societies and the environment. Water is vital for human nutrition and health, and essential for ecosystem management, agriculture, energy and overall planetary security.
The Council notes the potential of water scarcity to affect peace and security, as water related risks can have …