Fact sheet

The Amazon Under Threat: Damming The Madeira

Thursday, October 11, 2007
The Amazon is under threat. The Brazilian government is planning to build two massive dams on one of the Amazon’s most important tributaries, the Madeira River. The projects would threaten the river’s unique biodiversity, destroying habitat for fish, dolphins, parrots and a range of mammal species, and would affect the land and livelihoods of thousands of river bank dwellers and indigenous people.

Tragic Trade-Offs: The MRC Council Study and the Impacts of Hydropower Development on the Mekong

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
The Study on the Sustainable Development and Management of the Mekong River, including Impacts of Mainstream Hydropower Projects—known as the Council Study— was conducted by the Mekong River Commission (MRC). Initiated in 2012, the final report was released in 2018. The study’s overall aim is to advise member countries—Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam—on the positive and negative impacts of water resources development in the Lower Mekong Basin, including the plans for extensive hydropower construction. The Council Study’s findings raise serious concerns about the impacts of

Swindling the Mekong: Run-of-River Hydro

Saturday, March 31, 2018
Many of the existing and planned hydropower dams in the Lower Mekong Basin are referred to as ‘run-of-river’ projects. This includes the 11 hydropower dams that are planned and under construction on the Lower Mekong mainstream. Run-of-river hydropower schemes have become popular among dam proponents as a supposedly “low-impact” alternative to large reservoir and traditional storage dams. However, rather than serving as a low-impact alternative, run-of-river dams often have serious and long-lasting impacts, particularly on downstream ecosystems. These impacts have tended to be overlooke

A Dangerous Trajectory for the Mekong River

Update on the Status of Mekong Mainstream DamsJune 2017 Despite the significance of the Mekong River Basin to the people of mainland Southeast Asia, a dam-building boom is underway, threatening the basin’s vital ecosystems. A cascade of dams is planned for the Mekong mainstream, with many more dams proposed and under construction on its tributaries. Two dams are already under construction on the lower Mekong River mainstream - the Xayaburi and Don Sahong Dams. The Pak Beng Dam, the third project proposed for construction within the cascade, has recently completed a regional consultation proc

The World Bank and Dams Part 4: Behind the Times on Renewable Energy

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
As wind and solar power have taken off globally, the World Bank is far behind the curve in its continued focus on large hydro. Given its poor track record and recent failures in the sector, it’s time for the Bank to catch up with the world and embrace new renewables. Download this fact sheet.

The World Bank and Dams Part 3: Niger Dam Could Leave Thousands In The Dust

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
The Kandadji Dam is supposed to expand irrigation and energy generation to improve lives in Niger. Instead, it risks sacrificing tens of thousands of people forced to make way for its reservoir. The World Bank has once again ignored the lessons of its past experience, and must act now to avoid a humanitarian crisis. Download this fact sheet.


Thursday, May 12, 2016
A Guide for Communities to Be Impacted by the Inga 3 DamThe Inga 3 project involves the planned construction of a dam and a 4,800 MW hydroelectric plant at Inga Falls on the mighty Congo River, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Inga 3 will force more than 10,000 people to leave their homes, and many more people are likely to be impacted economically. This guide is intended for the communities who risk being displaced, whether physically (losing access to land or home) or economically (losing assets or access to resources for income and livelihood) by the construction and operation of the I

Current Status of Dams on the Salween River - February 2016

Map of proposed dams on the Salween River
Monday, February 29, 2016
Much of the mighty Salween River continues to flow freely. Home to a large number of diverse ethnic groups, the Salween is a rich hub of natural resources. It is a highly complex ecosystem, teeming with life. Unlike other major rivers around the world, the Salween remains largely untouched by man-made developments. In the past several decades however efforts have been made to develop hydropower projects along the entire length of the Salween River in Burma. The proposed projects have faced strong opposition as result of their expected impacts on human rights and the environment, as well as on-

Swindling Rivers: Run-of-River Hydro

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Hydropower projects described as run-of-river evoke images of unimpeded rivers delivering clean power without the environmental and social costs of traditional dams. And influential institutions like the World Bank tout the share of run-of-river projects in their hydro portfolios, suggesting such projects have few adverse impacts. However, the reality is often very different. Find out more in our fact sheet.


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