Tag: hydropower

The Yangtze runs dry

(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.

Three Gorges aggravates downstream water shortage

(May 25, 2011) Contradicting official claims that the Three Gorges reservoir plays no part in exacerbating the drought in the Yangtze River basin, Ma Jun of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a non-government organization, told Reuters: “Without the Three Gorges Dam, the water level in the Yangtze would not be that low.” Faced with the downstream drought crisis, Three Gorges officials have been ordered to release water, thus hampering their ability to generate power. Added Ma: “Fundamentally there is a conflict between hydropower generation and water supply, irrigation, and navigation.”

Cancel the Xayaburi Dam

(May 6, 2011) The Save the Mekong coalition and its alliances have called for the halt of construction activity at the dam site and for the Government of Thailand to cancel its plans to purchase the dam’s electricity. Many groups from around the Mekong region have also called for cancellation of the Xayaburi Dam as it would jeopardize the livelihoods and food security of millions of people in the region.

Dai Qing: On The Completion of the Three Gorges Project

(April 7, 2011) Dai Qing, Chinese investigative journalist and Probe International Fellow, delivered the following speech about the Three Gorges Dam project in November 2010 while on a speaking tour in British Columbia, Canada. In her address, she reports that the problems predicted by dam critics published in her books, “Yangtze! Yangtze!” and “The River Dragon Has Come!,” are now coming true.

China’s Mekong development costs neighbours plenty

(March 30, 2011) Communities dependent on the Mekong River for income and food say upstream dam development by China has disordered the river and endangered livelihoods.According to longtime residents who live alongside the river , topsy turvy tide flows caused by dam operation have brought floods, ruined crops, and made planning ahead impossible. With more hydropower projects on the cards, locals fear China is the only beneficiary of changes to the Mekong – a 5000 km waterway that flows through six countries.

Chinese geologist Fan Xiao’s open letter urging Chinese officials not to destroy rare fish reserve (translated by Probe International)

(March 25, 2011) Chinese geologist and environmentalist Fan Xiao has sent a letter to high ranking Chinese officials, urging them not to destroy the rare fish conservation zone they’ve created on the Yangtze. Plans are in the works to build the Xiaonanhai dam within the conservation zone, which would be the second time the Government redrew the zone to accommodate dams. Building the dam would violate the government’s own environmental protection rules, and would put over 100 rare species of fish at risk. He calls for public hearings and an administrative review, in hopes of convincing officials to abandon the plan.