Basin Development: A Negotiated Approach" project seeks partners
Both ENDS and Gomukh seeks civil society groups, local
authorities, and private institutions to join the project River Basin
Development: A Negotiated Approach
River Basin Development: A Negotiated Approach is a three year project
jointly co-ordinated by the NGO's Gomukh (India) and Both ENDS (the
Netherlands) and funded by DGIS/Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The overall
project objective is: To develop, discuss and promote alternative
- bottom-up - strategies for the restoration and development of river
basin ecosystems towards sustainable livelihoods, based on participatory,
negotiated decision-making and appropriate technologies.
The project distinguishes itself from other water management studies
by simultaneously focusing on sustainable local livelihoods and management
strategies on river basin levels. It responds to the fact that significant
geographic areas, and the needs and demands of local actors are often
not considered by conventional centralised river basin management
practices. These conventional approaches often even cause the unsustainable
use of large parts of the basin, intensifying ecological deterioration
with dire consequences for the livelihood practices of communities
that depend on it.
The project sets out to document and analyse six case studies of decentralised
river basin management and to develop these into alternative (competitive)
approaches to river basin management in rural and urban areas. These
six cases will be chosen from different geographical regions to reflect
the diversity of local, cultural, and political conditions, as well
as river ecosystems and land use systems. The project will present
approaches which can be scaled-up to the river basin level and include
larger geographic areas and more complex socio-political institutions.
The overall aim is to develop principles for sustainable river basin
Gomukh and Both ENDS seek collaboration with organisations with experience
in river basin development and management and who have the capacity
to develop a case study that will help us meet the challenges of this
The following criteria will be used to select potential project partners:
. involvement in land and water initiatives which have the potential
to cover a river basin . initiative is in the operative phase . actively
seeking to develop strong linkages with other -local and basin level-
institutions . a participatory approach, based on negotiation between
different actors at local and basin level . subscribe to scientific
research and analysis . the organisation has a well-developed communications
strategy . can commit itself to a three-year project . willingness
and ability to share regularly experiences with project partners and
the overall project . interest and ability to participate actively
in information exchange by attending local, national, and international
meetings and conferences
What this project offers potential partners: . opportunities to exchange
first hand experience and expertise . access to relevant networks
and international fora . modest financial support and assistance with
fund raising . an interactive, analytical framework to identify approaches
and strategies . liaison with donors, multilateral agencies, research
centres, and other centres of expertise
How to apply: Please respond by sending us the following information
before 1st of December 2001: . contact details of your organisation
(phone, fax, e-mail, and contact person) . description of the type
of organisation (NGO, local government, private, research, university,
etc.) . brief description of your organisation and its involvement
with river basin management and development . what role your organisation
can play in achieving the objectives of this project . the local,
basin level and national institutional linkages that your organisation
has developed through its work on land and water management
08.11.01: Bombing of Afghan
Hydro Plant Could Cause Disaster, says UN
Source: International Rivers
Network Berkeley, California www.irn.org
UN Warns of "Disaster of Tremendous Proportions"
after Bombs Hit Afghan Hydro Plant Urgent need for safety assessment
and remedial action
US bombs have destroyed a hydroelectric plant next to Afghanistan's
largest dam, according to UN sources. The London newspaper, The Independent,
reports that the dam itself does not appear to have been hit but that
the loss of power has incapacitated gates regulating water discharges
from the reservoir.
If long-awaited rains arrive and the dam's electric-powered gates
cannot be opened there is a risk that the reservoir could overflow.
This could in turn cause the dam to burst resulting in what UN officials
describe as a "disaster of tremendous proportions". UN officials
also fear that further air raids risk destroying the dam.
"If the dam collapses the whole Helmand valley would be flooded,
risking the life of tens of thousands of people," states an internal
report prepared by the UN's regional coordinator for Southern Afghanistan
and made available to The Independent. "It is crucial to have
the situation at the Kajaki dam/power plant assessed," says the
International Rivers Network is alarmed to learn of the situation
at the Kajaki dam. "There is an urgent need for the US government
to work with the international community to ensure that the safety
of Kajaki dam is secured and the power supply to its gates restored,"
says Patrick McCully, Campaigns Coordinator for International Rivers
Network. Emergency evacuation plans also need to be made for downstream
The deliberate or accidental destruction of a dam, like that of a
nuclear power plant, can have catastrophic consequences. Targeting
dams and nuclear plants is prohibited under a 1977 Protocol to the
Geneva Convention "if such attack may cause the release of dangerous
forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population".
The Independent quotes Pakistan sources as saying that a contingent
of Arab troops of Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida group had been based
at a military post close to the Kajaki dam. It is not clear if they
were present when the bombing took place, whether the damage to the
hydroelectric plant was inflicted deliberately, or whether it was
due to inaccurate targeting.
The Independent reports that the 48-year-old dam on the Helmand River
is 300ft high, 900ft long, and holds back 1.85 million cubic meters
of water in a 32-mile long reservoir. The dam, built by US engineers
and equipped with US-built turbines, is reported to have a generating
capacity of 33 megawatts.
The Kajaki dam, designed by US engineers and equipped with US-built
turbines, provides irrigation water to lands supplying food for around
a million people, according to the UN. If this water supply is disrupted
due to the cutting of the power supply to the dam's sluice gates there
will be further severe damage to the harvest in a region already threatened
by food shortages.
The Independent explains that too little water from the dam now would
make it impossible to plant winter wheat. Too much water released
now would deplete the reservoir, causing the wheat crop to shrivel
in the spring. "In addition, in the case of the long-awaited
rain arriving, the dam risks bursting without a proper functioning
control/regulatory mechanism in place," says the UN report. "Needless
to say, the regulatory mechanism is powered by electricity."
The dam provided electricity to around 500,000 people and to several
hospitals and industries. The powerlines to the city of Kandahar,
60 miles south-east, were rehabilitated by the Taliban earlier this
year after being destroyed during the nation's civil war. Chinese
contractors were adding a further 16.5 MW of generating capacity to
the dam when the US bombing campaign began.
Kajaki dam has been at the center of a long-running diplomatic dispute
between Afghanistan and Iran which lies downstream of the dam. Iran
claims that the diversion of water for irrigation at Kajaki deprives
a fertile Iranian farming region of water. Iranians living along the
Helmand may also be at risk in the event of Kajaki dam collapsing.
Environmentalists say that the dam has contributed to the desiccation
of a lake and wetlands ecosystem on the Iranian-Afghani border which
provides waterfowl habitat of international significance.
IRN is a California-based environment and human rights organization
which supports the rights of communities facing the impacts of destructive
water projects and advocates for sustainable and equitable water and
07.11.01: Morocco's water resources threaten
by cereals output
MARRAKESH, Morocco - Water resources in Morocco are
expected to shrink by up to 35 percent in the next 20 years, leading
to a sharp fall in cereals output, an official said yesterday.
Faouzi Senhaji of state-run National Agricultural Researches Institute
(INRA) told Reuters: "This should result in a 10-50 percent fall
in cereals output productivity per hectare depending on the regions
where the cereals are cultivated."
Senhaji was speaking in the southern city of Marrakesh on the sidelines
of U.N. talks aimed at sealing a climate change treaty, known as the
Kyoto Protocol, for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions blamed for
Morocco consumes an average six million tonnes of cereals each year.
"By 2020, we will be 35 million (population), requiring 8.5 million
tonnes of cereals for our national consumption," he added.
Participants at the two-week conference, which started on October
29, were welcomed by a heatwave in a period which normally sees heavy
Morocco is seeking to ensure minimum cereals production of six million
tonnes per year.
But drought has hit output in the last two campaigns, resulting in
total cereals output of 1.8 million and 4.5 million tonnes, respectively.
river cleaning itself, but still needs help
BOSTON, Massachusetts, November 7, 2001 (ENS) - Nature
may be slowly scrubbing the lower portion of the Hudson River free
Researchers have found that dangerous toxins in polluted sediments
are being stirred up and gradually washed out to sea as part of the
river's natural cycle.
For full text and graphics visit:
IUCN launches new strategy - global action to improve dams
The current IUCN Programme provides a good basis for
acting proactively in support of the WCD recommendations. The IUCN
Programme provides a clear mandate to make full use of the WCD report
through KRA 1 (Effective management and restoration of ecosystems),
KRA 2 (Institutions, agreements, processes and policies), KRA 4 (Equitable
sharing of the costs and benefits), KRA 5 (Assessment of biodiversity
and of related social and economic factors), and KRA 6 (Information
management and communication systems). IUCN has many years of experience
in ecosystem rehabilitation and participatory management and more
specifically in field level activities, policy interventions, tools
for equitable sharing, and species data collection and dissemination.
Thus, the required expertise is available in the IUCN secretariat,
especially from the global and regional Wetlands and Water Resources
Programmes and within some IUCN Commissions and IUCN members.
Furthermore, the new IUCN Water and Nature Initiative
provides a good framework for further work on dam issues. This Initiative
aims to demonstrate how the ecosystem approach to water management
should be implemented through a new portfolio of 30 projects around
the world. Existing (or planned) dams (will) play a major role in
the management of downstream ecosystems at many of the current and
future project sites selected for the Initiative. At these sites,
IUCN will play an important role in fostering implementation, adaptation
and testing of the WCD recommendations by working with the main dam
stakeholders, several IUCN Commissions, a large diversity of members
and the secretariat.
For more information : http://iucn.org/themes/wetlands/WCDStrategy.html
05.11.01: Guyana: Army
on standby as dam bursts flooding village in east
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Nov 5, 2001
Text of report by Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) news agency Georgetown,
Guyana, 3 November: A breech in a huge water conservatory dam in Guyana's
east-coast Demerara area early on Saturday morning [3 November] has
resulted in the flooding of a village of at least 8, 000 residents.
Farmers have been forced to prematurely harvest some of their vegetable
crops while other residents have had to rescue their livestock [by
putting them] in the upper levels of their homes.
The bottom sections of many homes were flooded and neighbours have
been forced to seek refuge in the upper flats or homes of nearby residents.
The Guyana Defence Force on Saturday afternoon conducted an aerial
inspection of the conservatory dam and affected village. A senior
defence force official told CMC that the army is on standby to provide
support in case the need for evacuation arises as well as to provide
medical assistance if residents become affected by water-borne diseases.
A local privately owned civil engineering firm is assisting in sealing
the breech. The east coast Demerara Water Conservatory is used to
provide water to nearby farms and is a source of drinking water for
residents in the capital, Georgetown.
Agriculture Minister Naven Chanderpaul and Local Government Minister
Harry Persaud-Nokta visited the affected area early on Saturday. President
Baharrat Jagdeo is scheduled to make a visit to the affected village
later today (Saturday).
Source: Caribbean Media Corporation news agency, Bridgetown, in English
1929 gmt 3 Nov 01 /BBC Monitoring/ © BBC.
Monti Aguirre Latin American Campaigns International Rivers Network
05.11.01: UK rivers runs cleaner
but spoiled by rubbish
ENS - Rivers and canals in England and Wales are cleaner
than they have been since before the Industrial Revolution according
to the latest survey by the government's Environment Agency, released
today. Even so, one third of the rivers tested were rated "poor"
or "bad" in their "aesthetic quality" the survey
For full text and graphics visit: http://ens-news.com/ens/nov2001/2001L-11-05-01.html
02.11.01: Sudan embarks
on gigantic hydroelectric dam project
Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - Sudan has signed a 150-million-dollar
loan agreement with the United Arab Emirates-based Arab Fund for Socio-economic
Development to co-finance the first phase of the Merowe Dam Project,
finance minister el Zubair Ahmed Hassan said in Khartoum. Hassan said
he also signed on Thursday another loan agreement with the Kuwaiti
Development Fund covering 100 million dollars to co-finance phase
one of the Merowe Dam Project, located 600km north of Khartoum. He
said the Sudanese government would next week sign pacts with the Saudi
Development Fund and the Abu Dhabi Fund whereby each will provide
150 million dollars loans, also for the first phase of the dam which
would hopefully make the country self-sufficient in electric power.
The first phase of the project, whose tenders have already been called
in Khartoum and in London, targets the construction of the dam's concrete
body. Sources at the ministry of irrigation put the dam's overall
cost at 2000 million dollars, to be paid from the government's coffer
and loans from foreign lending institutions. Upon completion, the
dam is expected to provide 1000-1500 megawatts of electricity. Sudan's
current power production is estimated at 500 megawatts drawn from
two hydroelectric power stations and several thermal stations. Abdulhameed
el Naglai, who signed for the Arab Fund for Socio-Economic Development,
said electric power to be generated from the dam "will constitute
a U-turn in the life of Sudanese".
new link to Eurocat Project website ("Catchment basins changes
and their impact on the cost")
The overall goal of the EUROCAT project is the achievement of an integrated
catchment management and sustainable use of water resources at a catchment
scale. The project aims to integrate natural and social science to
link the impacts affecting the coastal sea to the human activities
developed along the catchments. Using the unifying framework of Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response
(DPSIR), the response of the coastal zone to changing material fluxes
is connected back to the individual socio-economic drivers at the
catchment scale. The results of the study will then be useful to develop
better management solutions and strategies in some of the main river
basins in Europe.
The pressures affecting catchment-coastal zone systems vary across
Europe because of differences in geography as well as in economic
and social conditions. In order to identify these differences and
their relevancefor a better management strategy at the catchment level,
the EUROCAT regional studies focus on three coastal seas (Mediterranean
Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea) and six associated catchments characterised
by relevant environmental and management issues (Vistula River, Elbe
River, Rhine River, Humber River, Po River and Axios River).
Dams And Development Project Established
Support for national and local multi-stakeholder dialogue to address
the issues raised by the World Commission on Dams
On 1 November 2001, the Dams and Development Project (DDP) started
operation. The DDP promotes and supports inclusive and informed multi-stakeholder
dialogue on the issues raised by the World Commission on Dams report
at local, national and global levels to achieve sustainable development
in the water and energy sectors. It is a project of the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP) under the Division of Environmental Policy
The objectives of the DDP are to:
· support the widespread dissemination of the WCD report and
· support country-level, regional and global dialogues on the
report and the issues it addresses;
· strengthen interaction and networking among participants
in the dams debate with the aim of engaging all stakeholders in the
· facilitate the flow of information and advice concerning
initiatives relevant to the WCD report.
The DDP website, www.unep-dams.org
is under construction and should be up and running by 10 November.
It will include dissemination material, national and local reactions
to the report, follow-on developments within various regions and institutions,
and specific examples of emerging good practice. The existing WCD
site, www.dams.org will be kept
running for several years as a record of the work of the World Commission
Steering Committee membership (as of 31 October 2001)
Category, Organisation, Representative:
Multilateral agencies, World Bank, A. Palmieri
International NGO, IUCN, G. Bergkamp
Government (policy level), National Water Agency, Brazil,B. Braga
Government (project/basin level), Lesotho Highlands Development Project,
International NGO (advocacy), International Rivers Network, P. McCully
Affected peoples organisation, Narmada Bachao Andolan, India, S. Dharmadhikary
Industry/private sector, Montgomery Watson Harza, R. Abdel-Malek
Indigenous peoples,Tebtebba Foundation, Philippines , J. Carino
Bilateral agencies, BMZ, Germany, M. Konukiewitz
Host organisation ,UNEP ,D. Kaniaru
Categories for which a nomination process has been
Utilities, owners, operators
Professional associations (international)
Organisations working on options
Tel: 21-426 4000
Fax: 21-426 0036
01.11.01: US bombs hit largest
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Nov 1, 2001
US warplanes on Wednesday evening bombed the Kajaki dam and power
station, in southwestern Helmand Province, Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic
Press news agency reported on Thursday.
A Taleban spokesman, Mola Amir Khan Motaqi, was quoted as saying the
bombing inflicted heavy damage on the dam and cut off the electricity
"Water has not started to gush out yet, but if it starts to flow
thousands of people will face the threat of death," he added.
According to Motaqi, the Kajaki dam is the largest in Afghanistan,
generating 150,000 kW/h of electricity. It has a storage capacity
of 2-3bn cubic metres, occupies 150,000 ha of land and supplies 75,000
families with water, including their crops and animals.
The spokesman warned that if more bombs were dropped on the dam, thousands
of people would lose their lives and a large area would be damaged,
the agency added.
Source: Afghan Islamic Press news agency, Peshawar, in Pashto 0812
gmt 1 Nov 01
See also http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_1633000/1633140.stm
01.11.01: The European Commission
today adopted a Communication on environmental co-operation in the
Danube - Black Sea Region.
The Communication gives an overview of the present
environmental situation and co-operation in the Danube - Black Sea
region and highlights the priority actions that are needed to improve
the state of the environment of the region. The Communication calls
for an increased involvement of the EU and its Member States in environmental
co-operation with the region, including the co-ordinated action by
all relevant sources of Community financial assistance. This will
be a key element for the long-term stability and prosperity of the
Danube - Black Sea region.
In environmental and health terms, the Danube - Black Sea region suffers
from very acute problems. The Danube is subject to increasing pressure
affecting the supply of drinking water, irrigation, industry, fishing,
tourism, power generation and navigation. All too often it is also
the final destination of wastewater disposal.
These intensive uses have created severe problems of water quality
and quantity and drastically reduced biodiversity in the basin. EU's
Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström says: "The popular
image of the "Blue" Danube is sadly inaccurate. The Danube
today is heavily affected by pollution from agriculture, industry
and cities. The pollution ends up in the Black Sea and affects a very
large area. This is why the EU is taking the initiative to make the
countries of the region work closer together and to step up its own
involvement in remedying the situation"
The Commission Communication describes the long-term and intermediate
goals for the environmental rehabilitation of the region. The main
aim is to reduce the nutrient discharges entering the Black Sea in
order to allow the sea to recover. The Communication also underlines
the important objectives of the EC Water Framework Directive: the
application of a River Basin approach, which is the natural geographical
and hydrological unit, rather than according to administrative or
political boundaries, can assist the countries of the region in their
Co-operation crucial The Danube - Black Sea region constitutes an
axis of increasing geo-political importance in the enlarging European
Union. The environmental degradation of the Danube and Black Sea region
requires urgent attention and has to be tackled through a joint effort,
conducted at regional level. Only this way will it be possible to
promote and then secure the sustainable development of the region.
The institutional framework for environmental regional co-operation
in the Danube - Black Sea Region already exists (see Background),
but the co-ordination of the different initiatives and their implementation
lag behind. It is therefore necessary to improve the efficiency of
the assistance to the existing regional environmental structures and
to the individual countries of the Region.The European Community should
take a more pro-active role and become the driving force in this much-required
co-ordinated assistance. The Commission proposes the establishment
of a Task Force (The DABLAS Task Force), with the aim of creating
a platform for co-operation. Apart from the countries of the Region,
the Task Force would consist of the European Commission, interested
EU Member States, the international financing institutions and bilateral
EU assists The Communication stresses the long-term goal of reducing
the levels of nutrient and other hazardous substances in order to
allow the ecosystems of the region to recover and lists several ways
in which the European Commission will strive for better co-ordinated
assistance to the Danube and the Black Sea region.
While already providing important technical and financial support
to the regional environmental projects - since 1990 the EU has provided
more than ? 40 million for technical assistance in the Danube and
? 10 million for the Black Sea - The European Commission will further
improve the coherence and co-ordination of this assistance.
It will also ensure that, in the future, all relevant EC funded projects
in the Danube and Black Sea Region take into account the priorities
set out in the Danube and Black Sea Strategic Environmental Action
Plans. Furthermore the European Commission will explore and pursue
the possibility of extending LIFE Third Countries, a Commission funding
programme dedicated to environmental projects in third countries,
to include all countries of the region. It wants to make sure that
other policy areas, such as research or agriculture, contribute to
the overall goal of environmental protection in the region.
T he Commission calls on the EU Member States to include the Danube
and Black Sea Region in their priorities for bilateral support. It
will work actively to increase investments by the International Financial
Institutions (IFIs) and bilateral donors in the region.
In the last decade national and international environmental initiatives
have tried to remedy the environmental degradation of the Danube and
the Black Sea. Different instruments for environmental co-operation
have been set up in the region, namely the Danube River Protection
Convention (DRPC) and the Convention on the Protection of the Black
Sea against Pollution (Black Sea Convention).
Under the two conventions, environment programmes have been drawn
up defining strategies and identifying hot spots for which investment
interventions were needed to address transboundary concerns. However,
so far there has been limited investment in the priority projects
identified in the two frameworks and the actions and initiatives undertaken
have, until now, proved to be insufficient to reverse the environmental
degradation and health problems in the region.
SOURCE: European Water Management - News