Fact sheet

Dodgy Deal: Madeira River Dams, Brazil

Rio Madeira Dam Protest, 2006
Friday, February 8, 2008
The Madeira River Project consists of two huge hydroelectric dams on the Madeira, the principal tributary of the Amazon River in Brazil: Santo Antonio (installed generating capacity 3,150 MW) and Jirau (installed capacity 3,300 MW) - at a total cost of approximately US$10 billion. The financing for the project is not yet finalized, however, Brazilian as well as Spanish and Portuguese banks are interested in providing finance for the project. The Brazilian state-owned banks Banco do Brasil*, along with the largest Brazilian private banks Banco Itaú*, Banco Bradesco* and Unibanco* are currentl

Trading Away the Future: The Mekong Power Grid

Monday, September 25, 2006
International River’s briefing paper outlines threats arising from the Mekong Power Grid scheme, proposed by the ADB, that would facilitate the construction of numerous hydropower schemes in Laos, Burma, and China’s Yunnan province to feed the power–hungry cities of Thailand and Vietnam. The briefing paper identifies alternative sustainable solutions that would satisfy the region’s energy needs, including the promotion of renewable energy technologies and the adoption of energy efficiency measures.

Mekong Under Threat: New Strategy Promotes Dams and Diversions

Thursday, December 21, 2006
This fact sheet (English/Thai) discusses a new wave of large-scale water infrastructure projects threatening the Mekong River, supported by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) latest plan, the Mekong Water Resources Assistance Strategy (MWRAS). The MWRAS aggressively supports the construction of controversial dam, irrigation, and water diversion projects on the Mekong River and its tributaries. MWRAS misleadingly claims that the river’s ecological balance will not be adversely affected and that community-based programs can mitigate the impacts of large infrastructure proj

River of Controversy

Friday, November 1, 2002
Damming and Blasting the Mekong One of the greatest challenges facing Greater Mekong Subregion countries is deciding how development in the Mekong River basin should proceed. This briefing kit highlights how current plans to dam and construct a shipping channel threaten to undermine the livelihoods of millions, and outlines how the World Commission on Dams report can help resolve the competing needs in the basin. This briefing kit was prepared on the occasion of the GMS Ministerial Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and is available in Lao, Thai, Vietnamese and Khmer from International Rivers.

The World Bank's Big Dam Legacy

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
As the World Bank plunges back into the large dam business, the legacy of its past dam projects remains unresolved. This briefing paper highlights the ongoing social, environmental and economic problems of a number of Bank-funded dams, and provides recommendations to address this legacy.

The Arcediano Dam Project

Background InformationThe Arcediano Dam, whose construction is promoted by the Jalisco State Commission for Water and Sanitation (CEAS), would be situated on the Santiago River, 350 meters downstream from its confluence with the Verde River, just below the location of the Arcediano Bridge. The dam wall will measure 125 m in height and the consequent reservoir will have a storage capacity of 404 million cubic meters. The project includes a pumping station to transport 10.4 m3 of water per second from the bottom of the canyon to the purification plant 580 m above. The CEAS estimates the Arcedian

Drought Could Cripple Cameroon’s Hydro–Heavy Energy Sector

Saturday, April 30, 2005
The government of Cameroon is currently considering building the Lom Pangar Dam, a project that would displace rural villagers, flood protected forests, and increase the vulnerability of Cameroon’s economy to climate change. Increased hydropower generation downstream of Lom Pangar would mostly go to a large, foreign–owned aluminum smelter, which is expected to continue receiving below–cost electricity rates subsidized by residential ratepayers. The dam has been discussed for over a decade, but with a growing national energy crisis, the Cameroonian government has recently intensified effo

Background on Epupa Falls

Monday, September 1, 1997
Updated 2005 Download this fact sheet (PDF, 190 KB)Namibia's Kunene River valley is the ancestral home of 12,000 Himba people, a semi-nomadic people who have lived there for more than 500 years, tending their flocks and making their sacred fires (okuruwo). After surviving drought, war, genocide and other disasters, the most serious threat to their existence is the proposed Epupa Dam. The dam would flood their remote oasis; bring roads, construction camps and development into their midst; introduce diseases common to the still waters of reservoirs, and potentially end the Himba way of life fo

Tehri Dam

Tuesday, October 1, 2002
"This is a dam built with our tears" (Sunderlal Bahuguna) This fact sheet gives information about the Tehri Dam on India's Bhagirathi River, the main tributary of the Ganges. The dam is one of the largest and most controversial dams on earth, with its reservoir submerging the homes of more than 100,000 people.


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