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.
(September 29, 2011) Liu Zhi from the Beijing-based Transition Institute looks at China’s costly and chaotic dam-building spree, and the legal and economic reasons behind the bad investments.
An article by China Energy News Net reveals that China’s next Five-Year Plan will put huge emphasis on hydropower, with plans to build major projects on most of the large rivers originating in the Tibetan plateau and to use 100% of eastern/central China’s hydropower potential.
(September 21, 2011) The Three Gorges Dam faced a test as torrential rain upstream caused the year’s largest flood crest.
This Guardian article describes the case of Shennongjia, a region choked with dams, which caused a scandal in the Chinese media when the extent of official corruption and mismangement became clear.
(September 13, 2011) China’s programme to shore up its thousands of aging reservoirs is undermined by corruption, rushed repairs and inadequate funds, leaving towns, lives and land at risk.
(August 31, 2011) Financial rewards for bypassing dam safety procedures have
created an unrestrained dam-building boom in China that is threatening lives and the
(August 26, 2011) China’s precarious dam reality has moved out into the open.
(August 24, 2011) One of China’s premier investigative news agencies reveals China’s dams “are like ticking time bombs:” beset by disaster, flaws, poor construction, neglect, and fraud.
(August 18, 2011) “The Yangtze River will run dry” because engineers have gone wild, building so many dams that the amount of water needed to fill all the reservoirs along the Yangtze would exceed the flow of the river. So says “A Mighty River Runs Dry,” a new study by geologist Fan Xiao of the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau in China. Because there isn’t enough water in the Yangtze to fill all the dams to their designed capacity during the impoundment period each year, “an enormous waste of money” will result, with potentially staggering losses to China’s economy, 40 per cent of which comes from agriculture, fishing, industry and shipping along the Yangtze.
(June 29, 2011) The recent drought and the government’s mea culpa have refocused attention on problems at China’s controversial Three Gorges Dam. “The dam is becoming a symbol of all that is wrong with political decision-making in China,” says Patricia Adams of Probe International.
(June 15, 2011) Low water levels in Poyang Lake, due to the Three Gorges reservoir withholding vital water supplies, encourage the Jiangxi government to consider building yet another dam to mitigate water shortages.
(June 12, 2011) A consensus is building that the Three Gorges dam, which the Shanghai Daily calls “that” monstrous damming project,” dried downstream lakes. Predictions to this end made by renowned hydraulic engineer Huang Wanli, nearly 20 years ago, prove to be eerily accurate.