California's AB 1404 Passes!

The final AB 1404 Scoreboard
The final AB 1404 Scoreboard In a narrow 21-to-19 vote on Saturday, the California Senate passed AB 1404, which would strictly limit offsets in California's global warming program and entirely exclude the CDM! This landmark bill would make the California legislature the first US governmental body to put such strict limits on the use of offsets. According to Erin Rogers of the Union of Concerned Scientists, "If we cut global warming pollution in California, we will create local jobs, clean up the air, and promote clean energy technology. That's why more than 90 labor, pu

Victory: Mexico's La Parota Dam Delayed Until 2018

Communities March Against La Parota Dam
Communities March Against La Parota Dam CECOP For thousands of people living along the Papagayo River in Guerrero State in Mexico, the news that the destructive and unjust La Parota Dam has been delayed until at least 2018 comes as a huge relief. After a 6-year battle, the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission announced yesterday it is postponing the project, along with nine other electricity projects across the country. The Commission cites the economic downturn as one reason for the postponement, but the real reason is the intense opposition by thousands of small farmers and indigenous peo

UN Suspends Another CDM Auditor - SGS

Lightening over London
Lightening over London Lightening never strikes the same place twice...except when you're a CDM auditor with problems that just won't take cover. After our very own thunderstorm in the Bay Area this weekend, I awoke to the news that yet another CDM auditor, this time SGS UK, has been suspended for bad practice according to The Sunday Times. SGS seems to be carrying on the (in)glorious tradition started by DNV, which was suspended last year. SGS's suspension also follows closely in the footsteps of the rec

Interview: Victory Over Mexico's La Parota Dam

Rodolfo Chavez Galindo (right) and Felipe Flores have been at the forefront of the fight to stop La Parota Dam.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
From June 2009 World Rivers Review Since 2004, thousands of Mexican farmers have been fighting the construction of La Parota Dam in the state of Guerrero. They have staged blockades, protests and legal actions and have faced violent police repression in return. In May, the Mexican press reported that the government would postpone La Parota Dam until after 2018. World Rivers Review interviewed Rodolfo Chavez Galindo, a leader of the vibrant movement to stop the dams, about the battle over La Parota. Rodolfo Chavez Galindo (right) and Felipe Flores have been at the forefront of the fight

Hail Mary! Aussie Activists Celebrate Dam Suspension

Mary River Information Center, Kadanga, Queensland
Mary River Information Center, Kadanga, Queensland Patrick McCully/International Rivers Communities in the Mary Valley in Queensland, Australia, are celebrating the announcement by state Premier, Anna Bligh, that construction on a bitterly opposed dam would be delayed by up to four years. The Traveston Crossing Dam would displace hundreds of families, flood thousands of acres of rich farmland, and endanger iconic species including the Queensland lungfish and the endangered Mary River turtle and cod. Proponents claim the dam is needed to increase water storage because of the worsening dro

Financial Crisis Stops Xalala Dam - For Now

The indigenous Ixcan communities are strongly opposing the proposed Xalala Dam in Guatemala. Partly due to their opposition, private funding for the dam has now dried up. Will the World Bank and the IDB bail the project out, or will they realize that the time for change has also come for them? Guatemala’s electricity utility INDE has proposed a $400 million, 181 megawatts hydropower project on the Chixoy River. The Xalala Dam would displace at least 2,300 indigenous people, and severely damage their environment. In April 2007, the communities of the Ixcan people held a referendum (or

Pak Mun Dam

Boats at Pak Mun Dam
The 136 MW Pak Mun Dam, which was completed in 1994, was built by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand with US$24 million in financing from the World Bank. From the outset, the project was highly controversial due to the predicted impacts on the rich and productive fisheries of the Mun River, the largest tributary of the Mekong River. Between 1990 and 1997, there was intense opposition to the dam by thousands of people living in local communities along the Mun River.

Dam Removal

A dam is not forever. Today, more communities than ever are considering the option of removing or modifying dams that have damaged local riverine ecosystems, outlived their usefulness, or become a safety hazard. However, there are a range of ways to restore a dammed river, from fully removing the structure to modifying its operation. Decommissioning of dams has primarily taken place in the US and Europe, but the trend is going worldwide, as climate change makes the safety of dams and the high cost of retrofitting them a serious argument for removal.


The Seti River in Western Nepal. Site of the planned 750MW West Seti Hydropower Project.
Eight of the ten highest mountain peaks in the world are located in Nepal, a small Himalayan country with a mainly rural population of 26 million people. The country’s three biggest river systems – the Kosi, Gandaki and Karnali – originate in high-mountain glaciers and eventually flow into the Ganges river system. The abundant water resources and the rivers’ fast flows make Nepal a prime location for hydropower development. Already, 90 percent of the nation’s power comes from dams. Yet, hydropower development has a contentious history in the country.


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