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.

River in Chilean Patagonia.  Credit:John Spooner/CC Flickr.com

Dam Company in Chile Presses Gov’t for Supportive Policies

Colbún, the electricity generating company that co-owns HidroAysén and its multi-dam project in southern Chile, has recommended suspending the environmental impact assessment for power transmission lines that would connect the hydropower complex to the country's central grid, until the right conditions are in place.

Campaign opposed to the HidroAysén hydropower project in Chile

Big Hydropower Dams Trump Alternative Energy in Chile

Chile has enormous potential for producing non-conventional renewable energies (NCRE) like solar and geothermal, yet they only contribute three percent of the country's energy mix.

Belo Monte Dam Hit by Friendly Fire

Those who made the final decision on the design of Brazil’s Belo Monte hydroelectric dam will face legal action in the future for the damages caused. This is the kind of warning one would expect from environmentalists, but in this case it comes from a surprising quarter: staunch supporters of hydropower.

Guatemalan Communities Have No Say in Exploitation of Resources

"People haven’t been coming in for the past month or so because they are afraid again, like during war-time," complained Juan Gaspar, a shopkeeper in the northwestern Guatemalan town of Santa Cruz Barillas, where a fierce battle is raging between locals opposed to a hydropower dam and the security forces.

Brazil Drives Energy Integration in South America

Energy integration in South America will be a reality "in the medium to long term," driven by hydropower and drawing on Brazil’s experience, predicts Altino Ventura Filho, secretary of planning in this country’s Ministry of Mines and Energy.

Pakitzapango Gorge on the Ene river, homeland of the Ashaninka people and the site of a projected new dam. Credit: Courtesy of CARE

Tense Tug-of-War over Peru-Brazil Energy Agreement

Brazil is keen to move ahead quickly with the construction of hydropower plants in neighbouring countries to supply its demand for electricity. But Peru is still stalling on an agreement between the two countries, due to a number of conflicting interests and demands.

Santo Antônio hydropower station under construction, October 2010.  Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

BRAZIL: A Curse on Hydropower Projects in the Amazon?

"Perhaps it's the curse of Rondônia," joked Ari Ott, referring to teething troubles with the first turbine of the Santo Antônio hydroelectric plant which was intended to kick off a new cycle of huge power projects in Brazil's Amazon jungle region.

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