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ongoing coverage Amazon dams

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Hydroelectric dams may jeopardize the Amazon's future

Date:June 14, 2017Source:University of Texas at Austin

Hundreds of built and proposed hydroelectric dams may significantly harm life in and around the Amazon by trapping the flow of rich nutrients and modifying the climate from Central America to the Gulf of Mexico. These findings, published in Nature, emerge from a multidisciplinary, international collaboration of researchers from 10 universities, led by scientists at The University of Texas at Austin.

 

report continues

 

University of Texas at Austin. "Hydroelectric dams may jeopardize the Amazon's future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170614133749.htm>.

 

the building program is massive as will be the damage

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I saw an article on this too @COSMIC RHINO - it said a big problem is that all the environmental permits for the dams only examine each individual dam's local effect - rather than the combined effect of all the dams on the Amazon ecosystem as a whole.

 

I hate dams with a passion and wish people would learn from history and quit making these Faustian bargains...

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Unexamined synergies: dam building and mining go together in the Amazon

22 June 2017 / Zoe Sullivan

40 major dams are planned for the Brazilian Amazon in the next 20 years; driving the trend are the high-energy demands of a powerful mining industry and mineral export businesses.

 
 
  • 40 large hydroelectric dams are slated for the Amazon basin over the next 20 years, feeding the massive electricity needs of an energy-hungry mining industry — digging, processing and exporting iron, aluminum, manganese and gold.
  • But mining’s energy needs are rarely linked to plans for new dams or their environmental impact assessments. Amazon mining and dam building have repeatedly in the past resulted in major harmful environmental and social impacts, including displacement of indigenous and traditional communities.
  • Transnational mining companies and consortiums are major beneficiaries of government largesse through subsidies, tax breaks and the energy obtained from newly commissioned Amazon dams.
  • Brazilian infrastructure development in the Amazon, including dam building and mining, could — if environmental and social issues are not properly addressed — turn the Amazon into a national sacrifice zone where biological and cultural diversity are drastically diminished.

story continues

 

 

https://news.mongabay.com/2017/06/unexamined-synergies-dam-building-and-mining-go-together-in-the-amazon/

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Posted (edited)

A satellite study of the Santo Antônio and Jirau dams in the Amazon found the area flooded by their reservoirs to be much greater than projected by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) done as part of the Brazilian dams’ licensing process.

 

report continues  https://news.mongabay.com/2017/07/study-brazilian-mega-dams-caused-far-more-flooding-than-eia-predicted/

 

when compared with the environmental assessment projections   , satellite images   show the area upstream of the river is 69.8% larger , natural forest areas are 52% more often flooded

 

 

sediment flowing from the Andes is an important part of river health ,the dam will block this

 

having a larger flooded area means that more sediment will accumulate behind the dam wall and shorten the effective opertinfg life of the dam

 

these dams have caused flooding an forest death

 

by 2015 the combined reservoir area of the 2 dams was 341 square km over the environmental assessment projections

 

the dams have submerged 468 square km or 52% over the projection

 

the projections were cautious and thins are likely to get worse over time

 

these dams have had major adverse impacts on Bolivia  and contributed to a severe 2014 flood killing 75,000 people ,250 000 cattle and an economic loss of USD 180 million 

Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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 200 Munduruku people from 138 villages  occupied the building site for the São Manoel hydroelectric dam  on the Teles Pires river in the east of the Amazon.

 

they are concerned especially how the urns containing the remains of their ancestors are regarded as items for museums ,nor as something sacred to stay with the community

 

they will not move until this issue is resolved

 

at the moment the authorities are seeking a negotiated solution

 

please see  https://news.mongabay.com/2017/07/brazils-indigenous-munduruku-occupy-dam-site-halt-construction/?n3wsletter&utm_source=Mongabay+Newsletter&utm_campaign=8d5d87ca87-newsletter_2017_07_20&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_940652e1f4-8d5d87ca87-67239299

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I am surprised that I missed this one , it goes back to July 2016, I noticed it now as it is a lead popular story

 

there are massive fish deaths relating to the now operation Belo Monte dam, please see  https://news.mongabay.com/2016/07/fish-kills-at-amazons-belo-monte-dam-point-up-builders-failures/

 

the fish are dying as most of the water has been diverted to the dam

 

river turtles are being poached

 

having many large barges around is damaging their shells

 

things are not working out well

 

 

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So sad - I DESPISE dams!

 

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Posted (edited)

this one comes from a while ago but is very interesting

Scientists have discovered that reservoir islands created by large dams across the world do not maintain the same levels of animal and plant life found prior to flooding.

Despite being hailed as conservation sanctuaries that protect species from hunting and deforestation, islands undergo sustained loss of species year on year after dam construction, a pattern otherwise known as 'extinction debt'.

 

Report continues  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160530101121.htm

 

For  the article  please see  http://www.biogeo.org/ASJ/Publications_files/Jones Jump et al 2016.pdf

 

Brazil has 246 dams planned or under construction in the Amazon

 

Belo Monte dam will destroy over 4000 square km of lost forest

 

The Balbina dam in Amazonia  has a desired island size of   475 ha to preserve biodiversity, of the 3546 islands only 25 are of this size

 

here is a PLOS study on the above dam     

 

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0129818&type=printable

 

Here is a survey on the impact  on birds over 25 years of Amazon hydro dams

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303447250_Patterns_of_local_extinction_in_an_Amazonian_archipelagic_avifauna_following_25_years_of_insularization

 

 

Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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A federal court has suspended the installation license of the Belo Monte mega-dam in the state of Pará, Brazil. The dam, slated to have the world’s third-largest generating capacity, became operational in 2015, but won’t see construction finished until 2019.

The court ordered further construction halted until Norte Energia met the commitments it made in 2011 to provide adequate housing for those displaced by the dam, including indigenous and traditional people that had been living along the Xingu River.

Among commitment violations cited were houses built without space for larger families, houses built from different materials than promised, and homes constructed too far from work, schools and shopping in Altamira, a city lacking a robust public transportation system.

The consortium continues to operate the dam, as its operating license has not been suspended.

 

report continues  https://news.mongabay.com/2017/09/belo-monte-dam-installation-license-suspended-housing-inadequacy-cited/

:P:D:rolleyes:

this is a very interesting and wonderful development , for once the courts are not supporting major corporate interests  against ordinary people

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Posted (edited)

Increased energy demand has led to plans for building many new dams in the western Amazon,

mostly in the Andean region. The six  of the largest dams planned for the region, could  cause  major JA

including reductions in downstream sediment and nutrient supplies, changes in downstream

flood pulse, changes in upstream and downstream fish yields, reservoir siltation, greenhouse

gas emissions and mercury contamination. Together, these six dams are predicted to reduce

the supply of sediments, phosphorus and nitrogen between  from the Andean region by between 57 and 69%  and between 23 and 64 % for to the entire Amazon basin.

 

report  continues 

 

https://news.mongabay.com/2017/09/andes-dams-could-threaten-food-security-for-millions-in-amazon-basin/
 

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0182254&type=printable

 

  this  could easily damage food secutrity

Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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Thanks for this news - albeit sad news - @COSMIC RHINO

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the operators of the Bel  Monte dam  are refusing to compley with the court order to cease operating over inadaquet housing for the 20,000 displaced by the building of the dam

 

the court order allows for the federal police to force the shut down of  the dam

 

please see  https://news.mongabay.com/2017/09/amazon-dam-operator-defies-order-to-shut-down-police-action-looms/

 

this is not surprising to me

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