Hydropower in Bhutan – Time For a Rethink?

Jan 9th, 2015 | By

The first international visit undertaken by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who came to power in May 2014 with a landslide electoral victory and a personal mandate for development and governance, was to India’s tiny neighbour to the north east, the landlocked Himalayan state of Bhutan. This indicates the importance this kingdom holds for India.

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A Conference Expands the Debate Over Hydropower in Bhutan

Dec 4th, 2014 | By

Hydropower is the mainstay of the Bhutanese economy, but how is the country moving ahead in its development? Is the present method of constructing hydropower projects conducive to economic development? Does it make sense for Bhutan to build 10,000 megawatts of hydropower by 2020, as some have suggested? These were some of the questions that

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India-Nepal Power Deal: Over $1 Billion For Hydroelectric Plant In Himalayan Country

Nov 27th, 2014 | By
south-asian-association-for-regional-cooperation-meet-in-kathmandu (1)

As different regional leaders met up in Kathmandu earlier this week, the newest development for the energy-starved Himalayan country becomes official: last Tuesday, an India-Nepal power deal was signed, which will end up providing electricity to the nation come 2020. In times of energetic crisis for the South Asian nation, it seems that the India-Nepal

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Threat to Rivers as Hydropower Gets Set for Global Boom

Oct 30th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Hydropower, the renewable technology that sets gravity to work and harnesses the energy of rivers, is about to double its output. The growth will be mostly in the developing world − but the construction of new dams on rivers in South America, South-east Asia and Africa comes at a cost. Around a

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World of Clean Energy ‘Feasible’ by Mid-century

Oct 10th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: A global low-carbon energy economy is not only feasible, it could double electricity supply by 2050 while actually reducing air and water pollution, according to new research. Even though photovoltaic power requires up to 40 times more copper than conventional power plants, and wind power uses up to 14 times more iron,

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ADB to Fund USD 120 Million for Bhutan’s Hydropower Project

Sep 30th, 2014 | By

IANS: The Asian Development Bank will fund $120 million towards Bhutan’s 118 MW Nikachu hydropower project, whose total estimated project cost is $200 million dollars. The project is modelled on public-private partnership (PPP) lines, with Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC), and the debt to equity ratio of 65:35. Nikachu is the second project to be

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Upper Karnali a Three Billion Dollar Bonanza for Nepal

Sep 2nd, 2014 | By

The Himalayan Times: The much debated Upper Karnali hydroelectric project is expected to bring a windfall with the government standing to earn Rs 144 billion in dividend from equity extended by the developer of the 900-megawatt power project. This money is exclusive of Rs 121 billion that the project developer will provide to the government in royalty

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Hydropower Illuminates a Piece of History

Jul 31st, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Hydropower is making its return to one of the UK’s grand houses, which almost 140 years ago pioneered the use of water to provide electricity. A modern version of an ancient device, the Archimedes screw, has been installed at the Cragside mansion, in north-east England, to harness the power of a stream

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Nepal to Generate Energy From its Holy River, Bagmati

Jul 22nd, 2014 | By

(Xinhua) — The Nepal government is gearing up towards generating hydropower energy from Bagmati River, one of its most reverent and religiously significant river, officials said on Sunday. The decision was made as part of the government’s plan to end power crisis within three years. Nepal’s Energy Ministry has already announced to utilize all of

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World Bank Approves Loan for Kabeli-A Hydroelectric Project in Nepal

May 20th, 2014 | By

The World Bank Group has approved $84.6m financing for the 37.6MW Kabeli-A hydroelectric project in Nepal. The financing includes $40m credit and $6m grant from the International Development Association, a $19.3m loan from the International Finance Corporation and a $19.3m loan from the Canada Climate Change Program. The financing paves the way for Kabeli Energy

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Space Technology Aids Water Power

Apr 24th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Space technology is to be used to help engineers make the most of humanity’s oldest form of renewable energy production, water power. There is vast potential for run-of-the-river hydropower schemes that use the natural flow of water to produce power without large-scale works. There are many thousand former mill sites around the world where the

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Hydropower Needs ‘New Climate Knowledge’

Mar 25th, 2014 | By

Sci Dev Net: In a region where on average more than 60 per cent of electricity is provided by hydropower facilities — in contrast to a less than 20 per cent globally — the future of water availability matters. So, this issue dominated the second day of the Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC): Developing, linking and applying

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Website Offers Global View of Small Hydroelectric Projects

Mar 23rd, 2014 | By

It is now easier to access reliable data on small hydropower projects globally following the launch of a website designed to promote this technology, says a UN body. The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Center on Small Hydro Power (ICSHP), a China-based, non-profit body that promotes this form of energy worldwide, launched the site last month (13

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India’s Dam Building Bonanza

Mar 16th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: This region, east of Bangladesh and bordering China to the north, is an area described by politicians as India’s ‘future powerhouse’ and is a key focus point of the country’s dam building programme. The ambition of planners in New Delhi is not in doubt. So far plans for more than 160 dams – both big

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Pakistan’s Keyal Khwar Hydro Project Receives €100m EIB Loan

Feb 19th, 2014 | By

The Government of Pakistan has been awarded a €100m long-term loan by the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the construction of the Keyal Khwar hydropower project. To be constructed by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), the project calls for the construction of a 128MW run-of-river hydropower plant with a small 1.5ha reservoir for

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Bhutan Seeks to be India’s Hydel Plant

Jan 6th, 2014 | By

Times News Network: Giant cranes scoop out mud from deep inside the mountains. Frenetic construction activity is on as a state-run company in this tiny landlocked Himalayan country races to complete one of the crucial hydropower plants. Workers at the site of the Dagachu hydropower plant are busy giving final touches to the project which is

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Hydropower Import From Nepal, Bhutan

Jan 5th, 2014 | By

Energy Bangla: The Bangladesh government has invited its Indian counterpart to hold the seventh Dhaka-Delhi secretary level meeting here between January 11 and January 12, 2014 aiming to focus on regional interconnectivity through sharing hydroelectric potentiality with Nepal and Bhutan, bangladesh power division’s official said. He said, “We have already invited Indian counterpart to expedite power

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Bhutan Hoping for Happiness With Hydropower

Jan 2nd, 2014 | By

By the middle of 2014, the stately yellow, black and white Great Hornbills that live in the forest along the Dagachhu – a river in Bhutan’s Himalayan foothills – should get some peace after four years of drilling, blasting and construction around their rural haunts. Some countries have oil and gas. Others have fertile plains on

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Winter Time Power Import of Bhutan is Going Up Increasing Concern of India

Dec 23rd, 2013 | By

Economic Times Bureau: Come winter, the king becomes seeker. And the distressed need is showing an upward trend. Diminishing hydropower production trend of the green power king Bhutan is going to be a major concern for India, too dependent on water based power from the Himalayan neighbour. In one side, while Bhutan’s own demand during dry

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Bhutan Prospers by Exporting ‘Sustainable’ Energy, But Some Doubt That It Is

Dec 11th, 2013 | By

Traveling in this western Bhutanese valley is like going back in time before the Industrial Revolution, with only forests, rice paddies and scattered farming villages visible from the road. But after one more turn, the peaceful countryside life is suddenly replaced by chugging machinery. Welcome to the construction site of Bhutan’s Punatsangchhu-I hydropower plant. The

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The Himalayas Are Changing-For The Worse

Jun 3rd, 2013 | By

IPS: Residents of Jhirpu Phulpingkatt, a village nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, about 110 km from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, are on red alert. As the impacts of climate change batter the towering mountains above them, these villagers on the banks of the Bhote Koshi river have started to dread the sound of incoming

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The Himalayas-Once Moaning, Now Groaning

May 20th, 2013 | By
As South Asian and Chinese governments felt the heat of electricity shortage, the Himalayan potential for hydro-power was ‘reassessed’ at 500,000 MWe [Megawatt of installed electricity generation capacity].

Hill post: The Himalayas are being pounded again. Timber was stolen first; medicinal and aromatic herbs next. Now power projects are stealing water, life line for 30 million mountain folks and 3 billion in the Himalayan-water-dependent nations, as far as Vietnam. [1] The reassessed country-wise potential is: Pakistan: 41,722 MW, India 108,143 MW; Nepal 83,000

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China Approves Environment Assessment Of ‘Tallest Dam

May 17th, 2013 | By

The Hindu: Chinese authorities have granted approval for an environmental assessment of a controversial 2 GW dam project — slated to be the country’s tallest dam — despite concerns voiced by a number of environmental groups. The Ministry of Environmental Protection this week said it had approved a year-long assessment of the Shuangjiangkou project on

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Is There Hope For Hydropower As The Climate Changes?

May 2nd, 2013 | By

Hydropower is by far the most established form of renewable energy. Though not without environmental impact, either in terms of the local environment or, in the case of large dams, in terms of carbon emissions from the reservoirs behind the dams, hydro is here to stay. Unfortunately hydropower will be affected to a far greater

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Reviving The River

May 2nd, 2013 | By

An amendment to the old treaty between the US and Mexico promises to bring back life to the dry Colorado delta. ‘Minute 319’, apart from sending water down the river and restoring the native habitat, also calls for more water sharing between the two countries, writes Henry Fountain. German Munoz looked out at the river

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One River, Two Countries, Too Many Dams

Apr 3rd, 2013 | By

The Hindu: Chinese reticence about projects on its stretch of the Brahmaputra do not assuage Indian fears about diversion of the river’s waters. By raising the Brahmaputra dams construction issue during his first meeting with the new Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was following a two-pronged strategy. On the one hand, Dr.

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Updated Water Wheels Power India’s Rural Mountain Economy

Mar 18th, 2013 | By
A steel water wheel operates in northern India's Himalayan Uttarakhand state. ALERTNET/Archita Bhatta

Alertnet: Wooden water wheels have long captured energy from mountain streams. New versions work even better, helping provide a local, sustainable source of energy to Indian villages high in the Himalayas. Living in an isolated Himalayan hamlet, 2,500 meters (5,600 feet) above sea level, Govind Singh Rana seems an unlikely candidate for wealth. But by

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Bhutan’s Picture Of Gross National Happiness Blurs

Mar 11th, 2013 | By
Wangdue, project site of the Punatsangchu I Hydropower Project
Photo courtesy of Ritwick Dutta

IRN: Bhutan fires the imagination of an ideal mountain country with many snow-clad peaks, where people go about their daily chores in serenity, dressed in their national dress, wearing a smile and with a song on their lips. The image of the Gross National Happiness (GNH) that it portrays is ever present. The four pillars

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Sand Dams’ Bank Water For Dry Season In Semi-Arid Kenya

Mar 7th, 2013 | By
Paul Masila, a member of the Woni Wa Mbee self-help group, shows off a sand dam his community built on the Kaiti River in Makueni County, in semi-arid eastern Kenya. ALERTNET/Isaiah Esipisu

Alertnet: Barely a month after heavy rains pounded Kenya, many seasonal rivers in the country’s semi-arid east are already drying up, and residents are preparing for the months-long dry season. But some, like Paul Masila and other members of  the Woni Wa Mbee self-help group, are not worried about the looming dry spell. Instead, they

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China’s Relentless Hydro-hegemony Causes Anxiety Across Asia

Feb 13th, 2013 | By
Hydropower China

Deccanherald: Asia is the world’s most water-stressed continent, a situation compounded by China’s hydro-supremacy in the region. Beijing’s recent decision to build a slew of giant new dams on rivers flowing to other countries is thus set to roil riparian relations. China – which already boasts more large dams than the rest of the world

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Damning Truths From New Study

Jan 25th, 2013 | By
India’s hydroelectric projects, such as this dam on the River Teesta, are raising environmental concerns. DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP/GETTY

Sevensisterspost: A new study has confirmed the worst fears of Assam’s anti-dam activists who are opposed to building mega hydel projects in the highly-seismic Northeast, known for its rich biodiversity. Unprecedented dam building in the Indian Himalayas holds serious consequences for biodiversity and could pose a threat to human lives and livelihoods, a team of

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India’s Dam Building Activities In Himalaya Threatening Human Lives And Biodiversity

Jan 21st, 2013 | By
India Dam

Zee News: Unprecedented dam building in the Indian Himalaya holds serious consequences for biodiversity and could pose a threat to human lives and livelihoods, researchers have found. The team was led by Professor Maharaj K. Pandit from the University Scholars Programme at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Prof Pandit, who also holds a courtesy

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Himalayan Destruction

Jan 18th, 2013 | By
Dams in Himalaya

CSE: Study quantifies the impact of hydel projects on the ecology of the mountain range. THE Himalayas are virtually under bombardment—of dams. They would have the highest dam density in the world, with over a thousand water reservoirs dotting the mountain range in India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan, over the next few years. These projects

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Sankosh To Have Serious Implications On Environment

Jan 8th, 2013 | By

Business Bhutan: Considered one of the biggest hydropower projects in the country, the 2,560 megawatt Sankosh hydropower project, is all set to get a green signal from the Indian government, but the commencement of the joint venture project will mean serious implications on the environment. According to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for Sankosh

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Building Support For Locally Relevant Climate Tech

Jan 7th, 2013 | By

SciDevNet: Climate Innovation Centers can promote clean technologies but need backing with a coordinated effort, says policy specialist Ambuj Sagar. Technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help people to adapt to climate change will be a key part of how developing countries respond to the climate challenge. But the relatively limited capabilities of these

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Flood Of Protest Hits Indian Dams

Dec 6th, 2012 | By
India’s hydroelectric projects, such as this dam on the River Teesta, are raising environmental concerns. DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP/GETTY

Nature: Himalayan plans pose ecological threat, researchers warn. The days when the gigantic Indian rivers — the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra — roar freely down the steep slopes of the Himalayas may be numbered. Roughly 300 dams are proposed or under construction in the deeply cut valleys of India’s mountainous north, part of a massive

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Project Affected Population And Livelihood Issues In Indian Himalayan Region

Nov 13th, 2012 | By
The water at THDP

Taylor Wilmot: In the twentieth century big dams and other development projects were often associated with progress and prosperous economic development for many countries, including India (Khagram, 2005). Dam development projects entice governments with the promise of hydroelectricity, irrigation, and drinking water for their growing populations. They represent an abundant resource to developing countries (Khagram,

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Integrated Power Policy-A People Centric Framework For India

Nov 8th, 2012 | By
Dr. Shankar Sharma

Mr. Shankar Sharma: Energy has become a crucial part of the modern society, so much so that per capita availability of energy is considered as an indicator of Human Development. However, the social, economic and environmental impacts of demand/supply of energy are so great that only a holistic and objective consideration of all the related

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Nepal To Share Micro Hydel Skills In Region

Nov 5th, 2012 | By
Nepal hydropower

Ekantipur: The Nepali expertise in developing micro-hydropower projects to help rural communities meet their energy demands will soon be imparted to other countries in the region and beyond. Experts with the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), under the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, will be offering technical assistance and training in developing micro-hydropower projects

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Doubling Hydropower Output Could Cut CO2 Emissions

Oct 30th, 2012 | By
Hydropower China

China.org.cn: Doubling hydroelectricity production by 2050 could prevent annual emissions of up to 3 billion tons of CO2 from fossil-fuel plants, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report released here on Monday. The report entitled “Technology Roadmap: Hydropower,” which is jointly published by the IEA and Brazil’s Mines Ministry, outlined detailed actions “needed

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Climate Change And Hydro: Mutually Damming

Oct 15th, 2012 | By

Chinawaterrisk: At the 2009 climate summit in Copenhagen, China announced that it would reduce its carbon intensity at least 40% by 20201.Achieving this ambitious goal has become an overriding priority for the Chinese government ever since. As a result, the latest 12th Five-Year Plan 2011-2015 (12FYP) has been described as China’s “greenest” five-year plan to

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A Risky Climate For Big Dams In Africa

Sep 25th, 2012 | By

Huffington post: Climate change is bringing many uncertainties, especially to the world of water. No continent will be harder hit by climate change than Africa. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that African river basins will be especially affected by climate change, and are expected to face worse droughts and more extreme floods

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Dams And Water Reservoirs Are New Global Warming Culprits

Sep 6th, 2012 | By

Deccan Herald: American researchers have found that fluctuating water levels in dams and reservoirs emit large amount of greenhouse gases, the main culprits of global warming. Researchers at Washington State University-Vancouver have documented the emission of greenhouse gases like methane, as water levels go up and down in dams and reservoirs. Methane is 25 times

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Dams The Latest Culprit In Global Warming

Aug 9th, 2012 | By

Times of India: Researchers have documented the role dams play in global warming and the surges of greenhouse gases as water levels go up and down. Bridget Deemer, doctoral student at Washington State University (WSU)- Vancouver, Canada, measured dissolved gases in the water column of Lacamas Lake in Clark County and found methane emissions jumped

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Examining Environmental Flows Critical for River Ecosystems in India

Jul 27th, 2012 | By

International Rivers: It’s no secret that in South Asia, dam building is on the rise. India alone has already constructed over 5,000 large dams with many more in the pipeline. The Himalayas have already been targeted by the Indian government, along with the governments of Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan, to construct hundreds of mega-dams on

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India’s Hydropower Project: Future Demand For Water May Spark Conflict

Jul 26th, 2012 | By

Huffington post: India-Pakistan Line of Control, July 23 (AlertNet) – A s the silver waters of the Kishanganga rush through this north Kashmir valley, Indian labourers are hard at work on a hydropower project that will dam the river just before it flows across one of the world’s most heavily militarised borders into Pakistan. The

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South Asia’s Water Woes

Jul 25th, 2012 | By

Dawn: KANZALWAN, India-Pakistan Line of Control (AlertNet): As the silver waters of the Kishanganga rush through this north Kashmir valley, Indian laborers are hard at work on a hydropower project that will dam the river just before it flows across one of the world’s most heavily militarised borders into Pakistan. The hum of excavators echoes

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Pakistan: Climate Change Poses Real Threat-Study

Jul 23rd, 2012 | By

Dawn: A study conducted by the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) in collaboration with the World Bank has raised many concerns about climatic change in our region and its repercussions. The experts, who carried out the study, warn that if Pakistan does not build dams while finding other ways to salvage the existing water

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Why Big Dams Don’t Work

Jul 19th, 2012 | By

Mike Muller argued that China’s investment in dams is good news for Africa. Here, Lori Pottinger writes that large dams are costly and destructive, but Chinese experience in renewables still has a lot to offer. The record of Africa’s large dams is one of widespread environmental destruction to the continent’s major river systems, upon which millions

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Energy Security In The Mountains: Issues and Economic Opportunities

Jul 11th, 2012 | By

Mountain Voice: In a series of Mountain Voice, the Climate Himalaya team interacted with authorities working on energy renewable energy issues in the western Himalayan region of India, to understand that how much scope such mountain states have in energy security and how people could be involved in such processes. What is the scope of

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Ma (Mother) Ganga Needs Scientist Bhagirath!

Jul 3rd, 2012 | By

The Hindu: Scientific management of the glacial rivers and lakes of the Himalayas is the only way to take care of the irrigation and drinking water needs of millions of people in the Gangetic plains. There is no traditional or spiritual method available to us to meet the 21st century demands for water and power.

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Hydropower-Developing Community Initiative

Jun 14th, 2012 | By

GVEP: Determined to be the solution to the problem of poor electricity supply a community in Central Kenya opted to start its own mini hydro project. After some false starts, this venture is progressing thanks in part to GVEP’s support in overcoming obstacles and pitfalls. In recent years, steps have been made towards liberalisation of

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Towards Maintaining Natural Flows In Our Rivers

May 31st, 2012 | By

  Himmotthan: Natural flow patterns are the heartbeat of a river. Each component of a flow regime – ranging from low flows to floods play an important role in shaping a river ecosystem and livelihoods of river-dependent communities. While many rivers in Northern India are still in a pristine free-flowing state in the upper reaches,

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Widespread Climate Change In The Himalayas And Associated Changes In Local Ecosystems

May 18th, 2012 | By

PLOS-One: Climate change in the Himalayas, a biodiversity hotspot, home of many sacred landscapes, and the source of eight largest rivers of Asia, is likely to impact the well-being of ~20% of humanity. However, despite the extraordinary environmental, cultural, and socio-economic importance of the Himalayas, and despite their rapidly increasing ecological degradation, not much is

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Study On ‘Environmental Flows’ Of Rivers Must

May 17th, 2012 | By

Assam Tribune: Ignoring the crucial linkages of a river’s upstream, midstream, and downstream flows can endanger not just the river, but human communities and ecology sustained by it. A disregard of ‘environmental flows,’ by construction of dams, has already harmed many rivers in the Western Ghats, giving rise to political as well as environmental issues.

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Water Wars: Why India And Pakistan Are Squaring Off Over Their Rivers

Apr 18th, 2012 | By

Time: India’s Wular Lake, a popular picnic and tourist spot nestled in the Kashmir Valley, is an unlikely site for conflict. But India’s plan to build a structure on the Jhelum River at the mouth of the lake that will allow it to release water during the river’s lean winter months has outraged neighboring Pakistan,

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Climate Change Impacts On Reservoir Based Hydropower Generation in Nepal

Mar 30th, 2012 | By

Manjeet’s Blog (Negotiating Everyday): In principle Nepal’s hydropower potential is impressive due to rugged mountain terrain from which snow and rain fed rivers produce significant amount of seasonal water flow. Owing to this natural hydrological processes, Nepal projected an image since 1970s that this country has one of the richest hydropower potential in the world

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Creating An ‘Energy Internet’ For The Poor

Mar 22nd, 2012 | By

The world’s poorest countries can jump directly from the pre-electricity era into a new industrial revolution through an “energy Internet” — the uptake of renewable energy shared through communication technologies, argues economist Jeremy Rifkin. “The great economic revolutions in history occur when new communication technologies converge with new energy systems”, writes Rifkin. And now —

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Cooperation Needed to Ensure Fair Use of Himalayan Waters

Jan 7th, 2012 | By

The Nation: Climate change is one thing and the lack of cooperation between affected countries quite another. Pakistan points the finger of blame at India, while others in the region are also suffering on account of no clear-cut policy on how Himalayan waters are to be shared and conserved. Accords and treaties may have been

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Pakistan to Challenge UN Decision in World Court

Jan 3rd, 2012 | By

DAWN: Pakistan has decided to challenge in the international court of arbitration a decision of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to grant carbon credits to India on a controversial hydropower project without mandatory clearance of its trans-boundary environmental impact assessment. Simultaneously, the water and power ministry has sought the opinion from the

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