Dams

Celebrating World Water Day 2013

In honor of World Water Day on March 22 I wanted to give you a brief history on World Water Day.  Before I do that let’s look at some facts about water and the worldwide water (and sanitation) crisis: If you look at all the water in the world you’d find that: 97.5% of it is saltwater and therefore cannot be used for drinking water (it could be desalinated, but this is costly and takes a lot of energy, pluscontinue reading

Ensuring the Availability of Groundwater: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)

Ensuring the Availability of Groundwater: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)

  There are many places in the world that depend solely on their groundwater for drinking, irrigating crops, or anything else requiring water. As population increases and industries expand in these areas more groundwater is required which can lead to its unsustainable use.  When this happens wells must be dug deeper at a cost to the owner (if wells can even reach the water anymore), polluted water can fill the void left by low water levels in the aquifer, andcontinue reading

Ensuring the Availability of Groundwater: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)

Ensuring the Availability of Groundwater: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)

There are many places in the world that depend solely on their groundwater for drinking, irrigating crops, or anything else requiring water. As population increases and industries expand in these areas more groundwater is required which can lead to its unsustainable use.  When this happens wells must be dug deeper at a cost to the owner (if wells can even reach the water anymore), polluted water can fill the void left by low water levels in the aquifer, and forcontinue reading

Sand Dams: An Old Technology Saving Lives in the Present

                          Millions of people live in areas where they have more water than they know what to do with during the wet season, and then struggle to find water to survive during the dry season, but it doesn’t have to be this way.  Sand dams are able to take advantage of the seasonal rains and from them provide water throughout the year. The idea of sand dams iscontinue reading

Why Hydroelectricity from Large Dams is Not Clean

It’s common, if not the rule, for hydroelectricity from dams to be listed as clean energy.  With approximately 845,000 dams worldwide (~80,000 in the US) it seems like people have for a long time believed this to be true, and you can’t really blame them.  Dam building is often a very political issue and politicians often lead people to believe this myth.  Besides that, without knowing all of the facts it would seem like they are clean; you have acontinue reading

Water Heroes: Juan Pablo Orrego – Protecting Patagonia

Seeing as I’ve been writing and posting articles (on facebook) about dams quite a bit lately I figured I’ll talk about someone fighting against dams in this edition of Water Heroes, and that person is Juan Pablo Orrego.  Juan has been fighting for over 20 years to protect Chile’s magnificent Patagonia from the destruction of dam projects, and has had a very positive impact.   In 1997 he won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize and in 1998 he won the Rightcontinue reading

Another Damn Dam: The Grand Renaissance Dam

A while back I wrote about the Gibb III Dam in Ethiopia and the efforts by the Friends of Lake Turkana to stop it (FoLT and the Gibb III).  Today I’m going to write about another dam being built in Ethiopia (coincidentally by the same Italian company), the Grand Renaissance Dam.  This dam which was started about a year ago is on the Blue Nile and will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa.  When completed it is saidcontinue reading

Water Heroes: Rajendra Singh – The “Waterman of India”

Welcome to this week’s edition of Water Heroes where we’ll be meeting Rajendra Singh, also known as the “waterman of India”, “bearded man of check dams”, or “elder brother” depending on who you ask.  As a big proponent of traditional water harvesting methods and appropriate technology I was amazed at all that Rajendra has done over the years to help people in India to revive their watershed, and in turn return to their traditional ways of life.  Also impressive iscontinue reading

Water Heroes: Ms. Ikal Angelei and the FoLT

Welcome to another edition of Water Heroes.  Today we’re meeting Ms. Ikal Angelei who is the Founder and Director at the Friends of Lake Turkana (FoLT) organization.  The organization’s main purpose is to stop the construction of the Gilgel Gibe III Dam which is upstream of Lake Turkana and threatens the lake, the surrounding environment, and the area’s people.  They are doing this by educating the public, the government, diplomatic missions and the public about the possible dangers that thiscontinue reading

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