Environmental Flows

Reducing Dam Impacts in the Kafue Flats

Tuesday, August 1, 2006
The Kafue Flats in Zambia is an amazing wetland landscape of grasslands, lagoons and reed beds, covering about 6500 km2 of the Kafue River Basin, a tributary of the Zambezi. They are home to more than 470 species of birds and a wide variety of mammals, including the endemic Kafue lechwe, a rare species of antelope. There are two national parks which together have been designated as a Ramsar site – a wetland of international importance. Apart from being a haven for wildlife, the Flats are also important for people’s livelihoods. It is estimated that about 700,000 people live in, or in the

Let It Flow: Lessons from Lesotho

June 2008 World Rivers Review: Legacy Issue  The majority of the world's major rivers have been dammed, leaving a legacy of environmental and social harms that has truly changed the planet. But managing dams in ways that mimic natural river flows can help offset the worst damages. The Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), which transfers water from the mountain highlands of Lesotho to South Africa, is one of the world's largest water-resource developments. In addition to affecting tens of thousands of people living in the reservoir area, the project has, to one degree or

The Uruguay River, its dams, and its people are running out of water

Friday, February 1, 2008
(Salto, Uruguay)Due to lack of water, the bi-national Salto Grande Dam (Argentina/Uruguay) is producing energy with only three turbines, in order to keep the reservoir’s water level at an acceptable level. Its managers say that the dam’s electric production will be restricted until the situation improves. "There is very little water simply because it has not rained", the president of the Uruguayan Committee of the Salto Grande Joint Commission, Enrique Topolansky explained .The director of the PROTEGER Foundation, Jorge Cappato, said that "while the building of Garabí, another dam on the

El Uruguay, las represas y la gente están se quedando sin agua

Friday, February 1, 2008
(Salto, Uruguay) Por falta de agua, la represa de Salto Grande está generando energía solamente con tres turbinas para mantener la cota del embalse en un nivel aceptable. Afirman que lageneración eléctrica de la represa estará restringida hasta que no mejore la situación. "Hay muy poca agua simplemente porque no ha llovido», manifestó el presidente de la Comisión Uruguaya ante la Comisión Mixta de Salto Grande, Enrique Topolansky.Por su parte el director de la Fundación PROTEGER, Jorge Cappato, aseguró que “mientras se habla de construir Garabí, otra represa sobre el río Urugua

The Mitigation Game

From Silenced Rivers: The Ecology and Politics of Large Dams by Patrick McCully Dam builders and operators have been forced over the years to take a number of steps to mitigate the impact of their projects. Some mitigation measures can reduce some of the harmful impacts of a dam, others may be worse than useless. Mitigation is especially dangerous when it misleads the public into believing that dam builders can recreate the characteristics of wild rivers and fisheries and so allows more dams to be built. Mitigation measures generally reduce the amount of electricity and water which can be prov

Restoring the Zambezi: Can Dams Play a Role?

Kariba Dam
Sunday, October 1, 2006
From World Rivers Review, October 2006 Kariba Dam The Zambezi River is one of southern Africa's most important lifelines, and its delta is a Ramsar "Wetland of International Importance." However, it is also one of Africa's most heavily dammed river systems, and its health is in decline. More than 30 large dams (including two of Africa's largest, Kariba and Cahora Bassa) constrict its flow of water and sediments, and more large dams are planned. A new dam, Mphanda Nkuwa in Mozambique, is farthest along, and is expected to result in a push for industrialization in the Zambezi Valley. Dam-indu


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