(March 27, 2012) Fears over climate change and the potential for profit are behind a dam-building boom in China that, without public oversight, is running roughshod over the country’s environmental legacy and the livelihood of its people. Property rights must be respected, says the author of a new report.
(March 27, 2012) Probe International is cosponsoring an upcoming two-day symposium on the impacts of the Three Gorges Dam with the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, at the University of California, Berkeley. The symposium will gather scientists and experts from China, and elsewhere, to discuss emerging problems with the world’s largest electricity-generating plant in order to mitigate harm and to inform future investments in China’s power sector. The symposium will be held on April 13th and 14th, at Wurster Hall, University of California, Berkeley.
(February 24, 2012) Reservoir-induced seismic events in dam-mad China are a growing problem requiring urgent attention.
(January 6, 2012) The Xiaonanhai hydro project slated for the Yangtze River poses a threat to China’s most precious wild fish and the supremacy of the law, say Chinese environmentalists and scientists.
(January 5, 2012) Yang Yong on the future of river management in China and the issues currently facing the country’s more controversial dam projects.
(November 28, 2011) China’s Academy of Social Sciences says the Three Gorges Dam is not to blame for this year’s devastating drought. That is wrong, says Probe International’s Patricia Adams, who explains why Three Gorges is making downstream water shortages a chronic problem.
(November 21, 2011) Matt Ridley, writing about dams and induced seismicity in the Wall Street Journal, cites Probe International’s reports on the consequences of building the Three Gorges Dam: the Yangtze is drying up downstream, and seismic activity has increased 30-fold.
(November 17, 2011) The Yarlung Zangbo, or Brahmaputra, is a major international river passing through China, India and Bangladesh. Yet the countries share very little information on the river’s flow, or on their plans to build dams on it. chinadialogue reports on a workshop that brought together scientists and journalists from across the borders, and discusses the real risks of huge dams on the river.
(October 22, 2011) The recent suspension of the Myitsone dam in Myanmar shows just how unpopular China’s international dam-builders are becoming. In recent years, China has built a spate of new hydropower projects on rivers outside its borders, without much concern for their ecological and economic impacts downstream. Myitsone is a sign of growing resistance to these projects.
(October 20, 2011) Two recent reports show that China’s hydropower output has fallen drastically over the past year, as decreased runoff from major rivers has led to falling reservoir levels in China’s major dams. The Bureau of Statistics stated that hydropower output was one-fifth lower than last September, while the National Development and Reform Commission measured a decrease of 24.5% – a loss of nearly a quarter.
In China, hydroelectric output dropped by 20% from a year earlier. Authorities are now warning of winter power shortages in hydropower-rich southern and central regions due to low water storage, leading to questions about the reliability of China’s hydropower assets.
To most observers, Chinese officialdom has supported the Three Gorges Dam without fail. But a closer look reveals growing worries about the dam which has become a symbol of all that is wrong with China’s rise. Here we present Chinese officials’ admissions of problems at Three Gorges, from the sensational mea culpas of senior officials to the subtly expressed worries of eminent scientists.
Myanmar’s announced cancellation of the Myitsone dam on the Irrawaddy River has brought long-standing tensions with China into the open – including setting off conflicts with the Kachin Independence Organization in the north of the country. “It may be that the Myanmar government sees Chinese investment, in particular the Myitsone dam, as a destabilising force,” said Patricia Adams.
(October 8, 2011) The Burmese president announced that the controversial Chinese-financed Myitsone dam on the Irrawaddy River would be suspended. Now the Chinese government is threatening legal action if the rights and interests of its state enterprises aren’t protected.
A massive forced relocation is underway in Shaanxi: 3 million residents – double the number displaced by the Three Gorges Dam – will be moved from mountains and farming villages, in part, to make way for China’s South-North Water Diversion Project, reports Kathleen E. McLaughlin at GlobalPost. Migrants don’t even get full compensation for their lost homes. Instead, they’re only given about 10% of the cost – and forced to make up the rest by taking out government loans.