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Topic: Basin management

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[18 Jan 2019 | Topics: ]

The last year ended up with a  massive landslide blocking hydropower reservoir on Bureya River. Since the RwB reported on the issue last year considerable attention of national authorities and international media was drawn to it. Many politicians have participated in crisis-solving making this somewhat reminiscent of parallel  drama of Hidroituango, where emergency operation was remotely supervised by the new president of Colombia two days ago. The only entity which keeps low profile and has minimal information on its web-sites is the Rushydro State Company which owns the Bureya …

Greening Silk Road, Solidarity »

[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 »

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) …

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 …

Greening Silk Road, Solidarity »

 

Since March 2018 all overseas investment projects “affecting transboundary water resources” are classified by China Government as “sensitive”  and “restricted” and should be subjected to detailed assessment of their impacts on countries of investment and reputation of Chinese institutions and policies. Environmental and local livelihoods concerns are among key reasons why  projects of this type were “restricted”. Dams of the Mekong River mainstream backed by Chinese  companies are the glaring examples of  catastrophic consequences of poorly designed projects. It seems to be a high time for the Government of China …