October 17, 2004

Diary outline

This diary is to consider press, particularly the Guardian, and other media coverage of the sociological and environmental consequences of dams and other water related projects and also their cost benefits.
As I see it consultants put forward the case for such schemes to the Government of a developing country. The Government, pursuaded of the cost benefits, employs consultants and contractors to carry out the scheme. The consultants and contractors are paid, leaving the country in debt. What are the consequences if the consultants projections fail to materialise.
Problems related to dams include silting up, maintenance, reduced water flow below the dam can affect agriculture and hydro electric projects down stream (this being very relevant for neighbouring countries). There is also the problem of the displaced people and the loss of fertile valley land.
Scemes I am aware of include the 7 Gorges on the Yangtse in China where entire cities are being relocated and a proposed dam in Turkey which could have serious consequences for neighbouring Syria. I believe there is alsoa project planned for the upper Nile which will impact on neighbouring countries. I have also seen a project in Peru were waters from the Colca river have been diverted and I believe has not given the cost benefits projected

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