For Immediate Release
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Expect increased global warming, earthquakes, poverty, and debt if world leaders push big dams at the Fifth World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, March 16-22.
Berkeley – From March 16-22, the Fifth World Water Forum (WWF5) takes place in Istanbul, Turkey under the motto of “Bridging the Divides for Water.” Held once every three years, it is the largest global gathering of water officials, including heads of state, in the world. Previous Fora were held in Morocco (1997), the Netherlands (2000), Japan (2003) and Mexico (200
Proponents of large dams are hoping to capitalize on concern for climate change, and are promoting a major expansion of hydropower dams on critical rivers in developing countries. But it's the wrong climate for a dam-building boom. Big dams are at huge risk from climate change's impacts on river flows. Healthy rivers are also key to successful climate adaptation. And large reservoirs can be significant sources of greenhouse gases.
The recently released Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a UN–sponsored analysis of the overall health of the planet, reveals the extent to which humanity’s destruction of the natural world is threatening our ability to thrive on the planet. The report – the largest–ever assessment of environmental changes and their impacts on human well–being – reveals the rapid and accelerating degradation to ecosystems that are essential to life on Earth. While some of these environmental changes are "invisible" to the average person, others are more obvious – such as worsening floods, drought
Land and water are ecologically linked in a natural system called a watershed. From the smallest droplet to the mightiest river, water works to shape the land, taking with it sediment and dissolved materials that drain to watercourses and, in most cases, eventually to the sea. So, too, is the river a product of the land it inhabits––the type of rock and soil, the shape of the land, and the amount of vegetation are some of the factors that determine the river’s shape, size and flow.
When these ties between the land and the river are broken by a large dam, the consequences are felt thro
Protecting rivers and defending the rights of the communities that depend on them.
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