Fact sheet

The Xayaburi Dam

Friday, January 21, 2011
A Looming Threat to the Mekong RiverThis International River's fact-sheet provides information regarding the threat the planned Xayaburi Hydropower Dam poses to the Lower Mekong River. Located in a mountainous valley in Northern Laos, the Xayaburi Dam is the most advanced of eleven large dams planned for the Lower Mekong River's mainstream. If built, the dam will cause irreversible and permanent ecological change to a mighty river that feeds millions of people, forcibly resettle over 2,100 people and directly affect over 202,000 people, and could push iconic and endangered fish species, such

Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project: The Real Cost of a Controversial Dam

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
International Rivers' briefing paper describing the Nam Theun 2 project, its unsettled questions and broken promises, at the time of inauguration in December 2010.The US$1.3 billion Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project (NT2), located in the small Southeast Asian country of Laos, has been marketed as a model dam project and a development panacea for cash-strapped Laos. But more than 110,000 people continue to suffer project impacts and are paying the real price of NT2.

Belo Monte Fact Sheet

Belo Monte Factsheet
Monday, March 1, 2010
Massive Dam Project Strikes at the Heart of the AmazonThe Brazilian government is planning to build what would be the world's third largest hydroelectric project on one of the Amazon's major tributaries, the Xingu. Belo Monte would divert the flow of the Xingu River and devastate an extensive area of the Brazilian rainforest, displacing over 20,000 people and threatening the survival of indigenous peoples. What's the true cost of Belo Monte Dam? The answer is that no one knows yet. What's clear is that Belo Monte will be one of the largest, most devastating infrastructure projects ever to be

China's Three Gorges Dam: A Model of the Past

Monday, February 27, 2012
Updated fact sheet The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River is the world's largest and most controversial hydropower project. The 660 kilometer-long reservoir displaced 1.3 million people and is wreaking havoc on the environment. The reservoir was scheduled to reach its final height in 2010, but many of its impacts are only now becoming apparent. China will deal with the project's legacy for generations to come. As the project has been completed, International Rivers has published an updated factsheet which summarizes its legacy and recommendations for the future. We have also produced a slid

Mekong Mainstream Dams: Threatening Southeast Asia's Food Security

Mekong Mainstream Dams
Monday, August 24, 2009
The Mekong is under threat. The governments of Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand are considering plans to build eleven big hydropower dams on the Mekong River's lower mainstream. If built, these dams would harm the river’s ecology and block the major fish migrations that feed and provide income to millions of people. Read International Rivers' fact sheet on Mekong mainstream dams: (English)(Chinese)(Thai)

Represas Sucias: Las represas y las emisiones de gases de invernadero

Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Muchas veces la energía hidroeléctrica es considerada una tecnología ¨amigable con el ambiente,¨ sin embargo los estudios científicos indican que la descomposición de la materia orgánica en los embalses produce cantidades significativas de gases de efecto invernadero: dióxido de carbono, metano y óxido nitroso. El impacto de los embalses tropicales puede ser mucho más alto incluso comparado con las plantas más contaminantes de combustibles fósiles. Bajar documento

El Poder de los Negavatios: Eficiencia Energetica

Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Reducir el impacto de nuestro uso de energía es uno de los desafíos técnicos, políticos e incluso morales claves que enfrenta la sociedad humana en este siglo. Pese a que nuestras fuentes de energía deben hacerse más limpias, nuestra primera prioridad debe ser utilizar la energía de manera más eficiente. Las medidas de eficiencia son más económicas, más limpias y más rápidas de instalar que cualquier otra opción energética. Y no perdemos nada en el trato - el punto de la eficiencia es permitirnos los mismos niveles de productividad o comodidad, pero con menos energía.

Big Dams: A Flood of Risk

THE WORLD has invested heavily in big dams, sacrificing rivers, forests, fisheries and communities in exchange for power and water supply. But most large dams have been poor investments: too often they fail to deliver the water and energy promised. The problem will worsen with a more erratic climate. We cannot afford more dirty, risky dams. Download the brochure

Who's Behind the World Water Forums?

Saturday, March 1, 2003
A brief guide to the world water forum and the institutions behind it. Written by Patrick McCully, International Rivers Executive Director, in March 2003, ahead of the World Water Forum 3 in Kyoto, Japan.

A Faultline Runs Through It: Exposing the Hidden Dangers of Dam-Induced Earthquakes

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Besides posing a major risk to dams, scientists are increasingly certain that earthquakes can be triggered by the dams themselves. Globally, scientists believe that there are over 100 instances, strewn over six continents, of dam reservoirs inducing earthquakes. The most serious case could be the magnitude-7.9 Sichuan earthquake in China in May 2008, which some experts believe may have been induced by the Zipingpu Dam. Download the factsheet for more information on Reservoir-Induced Seismicity, including key case studies of potential RIS sites, quotes from leading seismologists, and a list of


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