Lori Pottinger

Lori Pottinger's picture
Connect the Drops
Personal bio:
Lori worked with International Rivers' Communications and Africa Programs.
Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 12:14
I write this in my last day working for International Rivers, an organization I have loved since my first day on the job. I am leaving just shy of my 20-year anniversary, with a deep bank of memories and not a few tears.
Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 12:07
Who knew spending a sunny Saturday morning picking trash out of creek could feel like a gift? But that's exactly how I and my Berkeley-based colleagues spent the International Day of Action for Rivers on March 14, 2015.
Date: Friday, February 20, 2015 - 17:24
The Nile Project musical collective beautifully embodies the sentiment "Rivers Unite Us". At their concert in Berkeley this week, they taught us all how to speak Nile for a night.
Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 14:45
International Rivers has learned that the reservoir behind the huge Gibe III Dam on Ethiopia's Omo River has begun filling. The result could be the death of Lake Turkana, the world's largest desert lake, which is almost completely dependent on the Omo for replenishing its water levels. Kenya seems to be taking a "see no evil" approach.
Date: Monday, January 5, 2015 - 13:59
The scorching sun beats down as I trek across the hot, dry sand. Streams of sweat snake down my back and I fan myself to cool my complaining body. Looking around, I see scattered thorn trees and dry grass clumps peppering the landscape.
Date: Friday, August 15, 2014 - 10:29
In my line of work, you never want to say “I told you so.” Nothing good can come from being right about the damage from poorly planned dams like Ethiopia's Gibe III. Learn about our recent efforts to prevent that “I told you so” moment from happening to Lake Turkana in Kenya.
Date: Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 11:06
International Rivers has been caught in the crossfire between Ethiopia and Egypt as they struggle over a large dam being built on the Nile River by Ethiopia. Big questions about the dam remain, despite the fiery rhetoric.
Date: Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 16:42
Industrialization of Omo River Threatens 500,000 pastoralists in Ethiopia, Kenya
Date: Friday, December 13, 2013 - 15:18
Lake TurkanaSean Avery is a
Date: Monday, November 11, 2013 - 13:39
The Ugandan Ministry of Energy is planning to construct a large hydropower dam on the Nile River at Isimba Falls in Uganda. Plans were pushed through with minimal consultation with the people who will be affected. Many stakeholders and local people were not consulted at all, and only found out through newspaper reports that construction had begun. The dam will create a large reservoir of around 28km2, and will have sever negative impacts.
Date: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 15:04
Will Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam have some of Hoover Dam's major shortcomings? A cautionary tale.
Date: Friday, June 7, 2013 - 16:34
This week, Ethiopia announced it was diverting the flow of the Blue Nile to begin building the huge Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Water-stressed Egypt – a downstream Nile Basin nation – soon called for Ethiopia to halt work on the dam. Egyptian politicians have been brainstorming ways to stop the project, including hostilities. Why is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam causing such strife? In addition to Egypt’s fears that it will reduce its lifeline of Nile waters, the tensions have been fanned by the project’s poor planning process.
Date: Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 09:44
It goes without saying that most of the people I work with love rivers. Every dam activist is first and foremost a river lover. Graceful, nimble, full of life, exciting – rivers stir some of our strongest connections to our landscape.
Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 12:34
The destruction of the Aral Sea in Central Asia has been called the world's worst environmental disaster. It's not something we should be repeating, especially in a time of growing uncertainty about water resources on our warming planet.
Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 10:39
San Francisco Bay Area residents can view "The New Environmentalists," a film about this year's Goldman Prize winners, twice in coming days: October 12 at the Mill Valley Film Festival, and October 15 on local public television channel KQED at 7:30 pm. River activist Ikal Angelei, who has led the fight to protect Lake Turkana from dams being built upstream in Ethiopia, is featured.
Date: Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 14:43
The World Bank has approved a transmission line that will link Kenya's power grid to the controversial Gibe III Dam, which is considered to be Africa's most destructive dam.
Date: Friday, March 23, 2012 - 16:59
A guest blog from the communications officer at the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) in Uganda. Some foreign investment firms have called it the next ‘golden’ commodity. Many analysts, global human right groups and civil society organizations have called it neocolonialism. If I may be sentimental, I want to call it the new slavery.
Date: Friday, February 17, 2012 - 14:54
It was a bright year for renewable energy in many parts of the world, despite the recession. Global investment in clean energy generation capacity reached a record high of $260 billion in 2011, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Investment in solar technology grew by a third over the previous year.
Date: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 11:55
Bujagali Falls Like most rich nations, the Netherlands has seen its “carbon footprint” rise in recent decades. In an effort to shrink that footprint, the Dutch government has been purchasing “carbon credits” through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The Netherlands now proposes to purchase “offsets” from the Bujagali Dam on the Nile River in Uganda. The CDM board will decide whether to register Bujagali for credits on Dec. 29.  
Date: Friday, October 28, 2011 - 16:01
Carla filming in TemacaAbout a year ago, filmmaker Carla Pataky and I were lugging her heavy camera gear around the rough cobbled streets of Temaca, Mexico, trying to convince busy activists to talk to us for a few minutes as they rushed between sessions at the Rivers for Life 3 meeting. The town was full of beautiful backdrops for the interviews, and dozens of  activists hailing from 54 countries spoke to us about the work they do, the dams they are fighting, and the visions they had for their rivers and communities. From day one, we could tell we were going to have a very hard time making a short film, given the remarkable people and the richness of the stories Carla was capturing on film.
Date: Monday, September 26, 2011 - 12:02
 (A guest blog by our former Africa program director) Cahora Bassa Dam bypasses villages under its power linesThe Conference of Energy Ministers in Africa – a two-year old institution recognized by the African Union and donors as the official voice of Africa's energy future – recently met for the second time and released a new declaration that can fairly be called double-speak. The first half of the declaration is so great, it could have been written by a Nelson Mandela of energy. It outlines the brutal reality of Africa's energy poverty and the goals for universal access to sustainable energy across Africa by 2030.
Date: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - 17:01
A new report by an Ethiopian with experience in energy planning reveals that the new Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, now planned for the Nile, could be an overpriced, under-performing boondoggle. The report notes that the US$4.7 billion dam will be very inefficient in terms of producing electricity, and therefore a poor investment for a country with high poverty, low access to electricity and recurring hydropower-killing droughts.
Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 15:04
A three-part series by Al Jazeera explores the human history surrounding the Nile – the world's longest river – and the growing conflict around its use. That conflict is being fanned by a growing population, political unrest, climate change, and a dam-boom in the region (especially in Ethiopia ). It’s a very powerful and comprehensive look at this remarkable, important resource.
Date: Friday, June 10, 2011 - 16:56
Nu River, ChinaThe list of World Heritage Sites is the ultimate “bucket list,” comprised of more than 900 of the world’s most amazing natural and man-made wonders on earth. From the Great Wall of China to Stonehenge, the Great Barrier Reef to the Grand Canyon, these are places of “outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity,” according to UNESCO, the keeper of the list. They are, in a word, irreplaceable.
Date: Monday, January 31, 2011 - 14:14
The gigantic Grand Inga hydropower dam, proposed for the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is making the rounds of international meetings as a solution to Africa's poverty. The costly US$80 billion Grand Inga would buy a lot of clean cook stoves, micro-hydro turbines, small solar panels, drip-irrigation systems, LED lanterns, malaria nets and the like. These are the kinds of investments that would help ordinary Africans.
Date: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 15:39
Please, ma’am, just put down the aluminum foil and no one gets hurt.ScroogeIt’s a little known fact that this simple kitchen product has a Dickensian dark side. So as you serve your guests canned beverages, “tent” your turkey, cover the yams, or wrap leftovers at the end of the party, keep in mind that the aluminum products you’re using have their roots in a dirty industry – one that frankly deserves a lump of coal in its stocking for how it’s mistreating the planet.The aluminum industry is the world’s largest industrial consumer of electricity, and about half of what it uses comes from hydropower dams. Aluminum companies troll the world looking for big dam projects that can power new smelters, often targeting rivers in ecologically sensitive areas in developing countries, and frequently in places where basic needs for the population’s energy are not yet being met.
Date: Monday, October 4, 2010 - 18:16
It’s an unreal feeling to be walking around the venerable town of Temaca, knowing its colorful homes and peaceful town plaza, its centuries-old cathedral could end up hundreds of feet under water. Would the old iron church bells still ring? Would the spirit it has nourished in people for generations flow out when the waters flowed in?
Date: Saturday, October 2, 2010 - 11:34
Our bus arrives after dark in Temaca. We know we’ve arrived because of messages of struggle scrawled on the old adobe walls. “Temaca Viva! La lucha sigue!” and “Los ojos del mundo están puestos en Temaca.” As forty tired community activists shuffle off the bus, the cool mountain air jolts us awake. A local couple greets us with “De donde es?” Where are you from? The responses stretch the globe: Thailand, Iran, Australia, Uganda, India… The jet lag is almost palpable.
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 16:51
This week I join hundreds of activists traveling to rural Mexico to attend Rivers for Life 3, a global gathering of people whose livelihoods and communities have been harmed or are threatened by destructive dams. Hailing from river-based communities from the Amazon to the Zambezi, the participants are the first-defenders of healthy rivers, and the first to feel the effects of poor river management.
Date: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 09:44
As BP's Gulf oil spill is so tragically demonstrating, once the cows are out of the barn and the oil is out of the well, it's too late to come up with a disaster response plan. We can't afford more BP disasters; it's time to start turning down projects with the greatest potential to create massive environmental catastrophes, and to decommission those that are ticking time bombs.