Articles on Dams

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The Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam will bring more power to Ethiopia but is already creating tensions over water rights with its neighbors Sudan and Egypt. Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

The most important dam you probably haven’t heard of

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, under construction on the Blue Nile, will bring electricity and wealth to East Africa, but could also have harmful environmental and political impacts.
The Koka Reservoir in Ethiopia. Steps have been taken to reduce malaria infections without sacrificing the primary purposes of the dam. David Stanley/Flickr

How building new dams is adding to Africa’s malaria burden

The construction of dams in Africa, in some cases, bring an unintended consequence – an increase in malaria in the surrounding areas.
Spangled perch are one of Australia’s strongly migratory native fish. After storms in January 2015 these fish were actively travelling up a flooded road in outback Northern Territory. Jessica Brown

We can have fish and dams: here’s how

Freshwater fish are declining everywhere, in part thanks to dam-building. But we can have both.
Major development banks are funding logging, mining and infrastructure projects that are having enormous impacts on nature. Here, forests are being razed along a newly constructed road in central Amazonia. William Laurance

Development banks threaten to unleash an infrastructure tsunami on the environment

Big new investors such as the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank are key players in a worldwide infrastructure, and that could be bad news for the environment.
There are still concerns over the impact of upstream coalmines on water in the Warragamba Dam, a key part of Sydney’s water network. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Cuts to WaterNSW’s science staff will put Sydney’s water quality at risk

The cutting of senior staff from WaterNSW, the body that oversees the safety of Sydney's water supply, poses serious risks to Australia's most complex water network.
Despite a decade of drought and declining rainfall in parts of Australia, there’s still plenty of water to go around. Maroondah reservoir from www.shutterstock.com

Declining rainfall in parts of Australia, but still plenty of water available: BOM report

The Millennium Drought ended more than five years ago, but several years of below-average rainfall and El Niño have brought drought back to many parts of Australia. Our latest report on water in Australia shows rainfall is continuing to decline in eastern Australia and increase in the north.
The Nairobi-Thika highway is being built by China Wuyi, Sinohydro and Shengeli Engineering Construction, and is funded by Kenya, China and the African Development Bank. Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

Chinese investment: why the buck stops with African governments

China offers an alternative to traditional donors and investors in low- and middle-income countries. Adding to its appeal is its focus on infrastructure projects.
A view from above the burst Samarco dam in Brazil. Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

Who should we blame for the Brazil mining dam disaster?

Six people are dead and more than 20 missing following the Samarco mine disaster in Brazil. But in the rush to blame we must consider the complexity of such failures.
Despite the noble intentions behind charity wells, they may not be the best thing. Franco Volpato/Shutterstock

Africa’s aquifers aren’t being protected as they should

The digging of wells in Africa has often been thought of as the solution to helping rural women walking to get water, but they may cause more harm than good.

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