Dams

Caring for Water Is a Must for Brazil’s Energy Industry

As they build huge hydropower dams, the Brazilian government and companies have run into resistance from environmentalists, indigenous groups and social movements. But the binational Itaipú plant is an exception, where cooperation is the name of the game.

Mundurukú Indians in Brazil Protest Tapajós Dams

It took them three days to make the 2,000-km journey by bus from their Amazon jungle villages.

South America – From Granary to Megaprojects for the World

South America has gone from the world’s granary to the site of innumerable international infrastructure, energy and mining megaprojects. It is now facing a new dilemma: bolstering the economy with the promise of reducing inequality, in exchange for social and environmental costs that are taking their toll.

Energy Integration Runs into Short Circuits

Energy integration efforts in Latin America have been made in fits and starts, even though many clearly understand that the only way to solve the region’s energy shortages and high costs is by working together.

Q&A: Everyone Loses in War Over Amazon Dams

In the war over major hydropower dams in the Amazon jungle, everyone loses - even the winners who manage to overcome the opposition and build them, but who suffer delays, costs that are difficult to recoup, and damage to their image.

/CORRECTED REPEAT*/River Diversion Project Spells Disaster

Tsetseghkorol, a Mongolian herder, stares out nostalgically at the Orkhon River, the longest in the country.

Presidential Hopefuls in Chile Speak Out Against Wilderness Dam

Diversifying the energy mix and the spectre of energy shortages in Chile are central issues in the campaign for the primary elections this Sunday Jun. 30, when presidential candidates will be nominated for the Nov. 17 elections.

Are Humans Responsible for the Himalayan Tsunami?

On the outskirts of Rudraprayag, a town in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand whose many temples draw tourists and Hindu pilgrims with magnetic force, visitors often stop for a meal at a popular hotel built right on the river Alakananda.

Dams Threaten Mekong Basin Food Supply

The future of food security in the Mekong region lies at a crossroads, as several development ventures, including the Xayaburi Hydropower Project, threaten to alter fish migration routes, disrupt the flow of sediments and nutrients downstream, and endanger millions whose livelihoods depend on the Mekong River basin's resources.

Resurgence of Indigenous Identity in the Crossfire in Brazil

The powerful tractors and other farm machinery that landowners recently used to block roads at a dozen points from north to south in Brazil illustrated the economic clout of big agriculture, which rose up against the demarcation of indigenous reserves.

U.S. Urged to Reject New World Bank Focus on Large Infrastructure

A group of environmentalists, gender activists and international finance watchdogs are calling on the U.S. government to support calls for the World Bank to step back from a new programmatic focus on large-scale infrastructure, which critics say does little to help alleviate poverty.

Saving a Shrinking Lake

Approaching the Lake Chad basin from Gulfe, a small locality 45 kilometres from Cameroon’s Far North Regional capital Maroua, the atmosphere of despair is palpable: dusty air, fierce and unrelenting winds, wilting plants and sand dunes suggest that this once lush area is undergoing a terrible change.

Hydroelectric Project Threatens Chile’s Lake Neltume

“This is paradise and they want to destroy it. This has had an enormous psychological impact on us,” says Guido Melinao, leader of the Mapuche indigenous community of Valeriano Cayicul, referring to the Neltume hydroelectric power plant project planned by the Spanish-Italian consortium Endesa-Enel.

Brazilian Communities Revitalise the São Francisco River

José Geraldo Matos fondly recalls the massive traíras (Hoplias sp), carnivorous freshwater fish found in the lagoons and rivers of Brazil, that he used to catch in the Dos Cochos River just a few metres from his house.

Aluminium production fuels the construction of hydroelectric dams in Brazil, like the Santo Antônio hydropower station, seen here under construction in October 2010. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

Aluminium Industry Has Its Defenders in Brazil

Aluminium, opposed by environmentalists mainly because of the amount of energy needed to produce it, is one of the targets of the heated campaign against hydroelectric dams in Brazil’s Amazon jungle region.

People’s Tribunal Defends Native Villages from Dams

"What do we stand to lose because of the dam? We will lose everything!" said Maria Abigail Agredani, a member of the committee for this indigenous community in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, reporting the damage that will be caused by the hydroelectric complex being built nearby.

Small Dams – from Heroes to Villains in Brazil

A recent Brazilian court decision to suspend construction of small hydroelectric dams along the Paraguay River has highlighted the doubts raised about a growing alternative source of energy that until recently was considered one of the most environmentally-friendly sources.

Study Damns Mekong Dams

Impoverished Laos is unlikely to cancel a Thai project to build a mega dam across the Mekong River at Xayaburi, despite warnings from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) that it could devastate the region’s rich biodiversity.

Cambodia’s Hydro Plans Carry Steep Costs

The Cambodian government has committed to the construction of two dams along the Mekong River in order to meet a huge demand for electricity, but environmental groups warn that severe repercussions loom for this strategy.

Dam Threatens Turkey’s Past and Future

Hasankeyf, a small village in southeastern Turkey, has been under threat for 15 years. Home to approximately 3,000 people, the site is one of the oldest continuously inhabited human settlements, with an archaeological record going back at least 9,500 years.

ZAMCOM hopes to establish environmental flows on the Zambezi. Credit: Johannes Myburgh/IPS

Establishing Environmental Flows in the Zambezi

When Jose Chiburre was a boy growing up in Mozambique, he would often challenge his friends to a swim across the Incomati River. That was in the 1970s, when the river was 300 metres wide in the dry season: today, the race would be over before it begins.

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