Megadams: unuseful, destructive–WPN

Features Philippines May 12, 2017 at 2:42 pm

In forums and activities held around international commemoration of people’s action for rivers and against large dams and in pursuit of the right to water, advocates including the Water for the People Network (WPN) called on the public to support the clamor ‘people’s control over water resources and services.’

Government and private sector proponents, including international financial institutions, promote large dams allegedly as a means of providing cheap energy and water supply to poor countries like the Philippines. But many Filipinos still lack access to basic utilities, said WPN. Millions of people in Metro Manila – with or without water connections – have insufficient yet expensive water supply. Some areas in the country especially Mindanao continue to experience intermittent power services while increasing power rates constantly loom, noted the group.

WPN observed that many large hydropower dams such as Ambuklao, Binga and Magat are in fact underused largely due to heavy siltation brought about by the dams’ enormity. For the same reason, the Pantabangan power plant and the San Roque Multipurpose Dam also produce only 6% and 27% of their rated capacities, respectively. These dams range from over 200-1,000 meters in length and are 100 to over 200 meters high, occupying sizeable areas of land.

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