28.02.01 : Conference: "The
role of Water in History and Development"
The International Water History Association presents
"THE ROLE OF WATER IN HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT"
10th -12th August 2001, University of Bergen, Norway.
More information on http://www.iwha.net
This conference will bring together researchers from
different disciplines who all study the character and role of freshwater
in history and development. It is organised in co-operation with UNESCO's
International Hydrological Programme and CROP, the Comparative Research
Programme on Poverty. Abstracts from 80 countries have been reviewed
and about 200 papers are accepted. The conference will have three
main aims: - to present different empirical research findings and
to create a forum for theoretical discussions on how the relationship
between man and water can be analysed and understood in the most fruitful
ways. - to produce relevant input into present day debates about issues
including the control and ownership of water, water conflicts and
water pollution. - to discuss content and profile of a multi-volume
World Water History planned by UNESCO in cooperation with IWHA. The
conference will offer opportunities for researchers to present perspectives
on water history useful for the book series. The conference is divided
into different themes which are: A: The political economy of water
ownership and control B: Images of water (in religion, myths, literature
and art) C: History of hydrology and water control D: Narratives on
the river and the dam E: The engineering of water systems engineers,entrepreneurs
and bureaucrats F: Institutional frameworks for solving the disputes
in conflict waters G: History of water, sanitation and health H: Water,
poverty and social development I: Freshwater and the coastal zone
integrated and ecological management. J: Regional waters in a historical
perspective K: Water and Civilization. Why History is Vital to Reframing
Current Water Policy Debates. X: Others
Further information from: Alv Terje Fotland, IWHA conference coordinator,
Centre for development studies, University of Bergen, Stromgaten 54
5007 BERGEN Alv.Fotland@sfu.uib.no
27.02.01 : Sand muddies legal
waters in German wetland fight
Source : ENS, Neville Judd
Environmentalists and orchard growers have lost an important court
decision in the battle to
prevent Airbus Industrie from filling in part of Mühlenberger
largest freshwater tidal ecosystem in Europe.
The Airbus Industrie wants to fill in 420 acres of
Mühlenberger Loch in order to extend its Hamburg factory, which
makes A319 and A321 aircraft. The extended facility would be for a
new line of luxury jumbos, the A380s, to be outfitted with internal
Mühlenberger Loch is the largest freshwater tidal mudflat in
the 15 member European Union. Its 1,668 acres (675 hectares) provide
critical habitat for 70 species of migratory birds. For three birds
in particular - the shoveler (Anas clypeata), the teal (Anas crecca),
and the little gull (Larus minutus) - the loch is considered a site
of international importance.
The loch is not only protected under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands,
but is protected by two other international agreements - the European
Union Flora, Fauna, and Habitat Directives, and the European Bird
Last year though, the European Commission agreed with the German government
that "imperative reasons of overriding public interest"
outweighed the adverse environmental effects of allowing Airbus Industrie
to extend the plant.
For full text and graphics, visit: http://ens.lycos.com/ens/feb2001/2001L-02-27-11.html
You can find another article on the subject under http://www.edie.net/news/Archive/3865.html
25.02.01 : Thousands march
in Spain to protest the national hydraulic plan
Source : The Associated Press
Tens of thousands of Spaniards marched to Barcelona Sunday to protest
a proposed $23 billion water project which would include a major river
transfer and the construction of some 120 dams. Accompanied by musical
bands and street entertainers, the protesters marched behind a group
of children dressed in green with signs that read "And What About
Us? No To The Water Transfer." Protesters, many bussed in from
surrounding provinces, included farmers, ecologists, academics and
labor union representatives.
Barcelona police estimated the crowd size at 80,000 while organizers
claimed 300,000 attended. More than 400,000 demonstrated against the
National Hydrological Plan in the northeastern city of Zaragoza last
October, and another protest is scheduled for Madrid on March 11.
The plan, recently approved by the Spanish government and now before
Parliament for final approval, involves taking water from the mouth
of the northeastern Ebro river, the country's most voluminous, and
funneling most of it down to the semi-arid southeastern areas of Valencia,
Almeria and Murcia for agricultural and urban purposes.
But the project, while backed by a majority of Spain's 17 autonomous
regions, has triggered a heated debate over Spain's water resources
and needs. The center-right government of Prime Minister Jose Maria
Aznar insists the plan will eliminate the historic imbalance between
northern Spain, where water is considered plentiful, and the often
However, many people in regions such as northern Aragon and Catalonia-through
which the Ebro flows-believe it is simply a means for the government
to channel money toward Spain's powerful construction and electrical
sectors. They also claim the plan, which is expected to be funded
by the European Union, will have far-reaching negative environmental
"This is more like a national cement plan rather than a national
water plan," said opposition Socialist party member and former
Justice Minister Alberto Belloch. "It's based on a model from
the past, from the beginning of the century, not one that concerns
itself with Spain of today."
23.02.01 : Controversial US
dams violate Clean Water Act
A federal district court has ruled that the US government's operation
of four dams on the lower Snake River violates the Clean Water Act,
proving that that the dams raise water temperatures and dissolved
nitrogen above mandatory water quality standards.
Full article under http://www.edie.net/news/Archive/3879.html
17.02.01: Spanish government
approves controversial water plan.
The Spanish Cabinet has given the go-ahead to the nationís largest ever water
project despite wide-scale protests from environmentalists and local
The most controversial part of the plan is the construction of a 700
kilometre canal to divert water from the Ebro basin in the north to
the south-eastern region of Almeria.
Full article under :
Furher information can be found under :
Environment Ministry (in Spanish only)
National Hydraulic Plan (in Spanish only)
Ecologists in Action (in Spanish only)
(link from main site in Spanish only)
See also our Iberian
Le gouvernement espagnol donne son feu vert au très
controversé projet hydraulique.
Le gouvernement espagnol a donné son accord
le plus important projet hydraulique que l'Espagne ait jamais connu,
cela malgré la forte opposition des écologistes et des
Pour avoir plus d'information (sites en espagnol):
Un des projets les plus controversé de ce plan est la construction
d'un canal de 700 km qui permettrait d'envoyer de l'eau du bassin
de l'Ebre (au nord) vers la région d'Alméria au sud-est
Article complet (en anglais) sur
de l'Environnement espagnol
Plan Hydraulique National
Ecologists in Action
16.02.01 : Water for People
and Nature: A Forum on Conservation and Human Rights
University of British Columbia Campus, Vancouver, British Columbia
July 5-8, 2001
Water resources around the world are under pressure.
Pollution, depletion and privatization are putting more and more of
this shared and precious resource in jeopardy. Water for People and
Nature: An International Forum on Conservation and Human Rights will
produce a platform to ensure that water conservation and every person's
fundamental right to clean, safe water become the focus of strategies
for water in this century.
The conference will bring together water experts,
activists and municipal leaders from around the world for three days
of discussion and debate. Workshops will allow participants the opportunity
to discuss the central issues facing water today and contribute to
a final report towards a plan to achieve environmental and social
Maude Barlow, Tony Clark, Michael Kravcik, Stephen Lewis, Patrick
McCully, Riccardo Petrella, Robin Round and Steven Shrybman.
Registration and Accomodation All necessary information
can be found online at the web address noted above. Registertoday.
The deadline is approaching fast. A travel bursary is available for
those who need help.
Deadline for applications is March 15, 2001.
If you are having difficulty reaching us via the internet,
we can be contacted at The Council of Canadians, 001-613-233-4487
extension 400 (in Canada dial toll free 1-800-387-7177). Our fax number
14.02.01 : China : Official
internal documents say that the Three Gorges dam will lead to huge
environmental problems and will not provide the promised flood control.
Chinese officials alarmed at looming environmental
crisis at Three Gorges dam, internal documents reveal
Dam will not provide reliable power or control Yangtze
floods. "Never, ever let the public know this," warns eminent
Three Gorges Probe has obtained leaked correspondence
between China's top leadership that reveals growing alarm over the
threat of unmitigated water pollution and other environmental destruction
in the Three Gorges dam reservoir. The correspondence also reveals
that officials know the dam will not provide its promised flood control
capacity and that Three Gorges power will be unreliable and probably
You can get more information under :
General information on the Three Gorges dam project
12.02.01 : Portugal : Activists
are fighting against one of the biggest dam project of Europe.
In Portugal, conservationists are mobilizing : the
cutting down of 1,3 millions trees is beginning this month to enable
the construction of what is said to be the biggest european artificial
The dam, located on the Guadiana river, is half-financed by the European
Union and should be over by the end of next year.
The reservoir, 80 km long, will cover 25 000 hectares. It will flood
several archaeological sites and habitats of several protected species.
It will supply the whole area with electricity and create 20,000 employments
to one of the poorest part of Europe but conservationists said that
it is a planned disaster.
To know more about the Alqueva dam project :
12.02.01 : Un projet de barrage
géant mobilise les défenseurs de l'environnement au
LISBONNE (AP). Les défenseurs de l'environnement
au Portugal se mobilisent: l'abattage d'1,3 millions d'arbres va commencer
ce mois-ci, pour permettre la construction de ce qui est présenté
comme le plus grand lac de barrage d'Europe.
L'abattage devrait prendre un an, selon EDIA, la société
publique qui supervise le projet.
La construction du barrage sur la rivière Guadiana, dans l'Alentejo
(sud-est du Portugal), co-financée pour moitié par l'Union
européenne, doit être terminée d'ici l'année
Elle donnera naissance à un lac de 25.000 hectares, sur 80
km. Ce lac viendra inonder plusieurs sites archéologiques remontant
au néolithique: les objets qu'ils contiennent seront transférés
dans des musées de la région. Seront également
réinstallés plusieurs colonies d'une espèce rare
de chauves-souris, mais l'habitat de plusieurs espèces protégées
d'oiseaux va être détruit.
Selon Lisbonne, ce projet permettra de fournir de l'électricité
à toute la région, ainsi que des moyens d'irrigation
dans une zone très aride. Il devrait permettre la création
de 20.000 emplois dans ce qui est l'une des régions les plus
Mais les défenseurs de l'environnement du groupe portugais
Quercus ne sont pas d'accord: il s'agit d'un ''désastre délibéré,
planifié'', selon leur porte-parole Jose Paulo Martins. Il
estime que la retenue ne devrait être remplie que progressivement,
en fonction des besoins de la région, qu'il juge être
inférieurs à ce qu'annonce le gouvernement.
L'Alentejo, province rurale, a un revenu moyen inférieur à
60% du revenu moyen de l'Union européenne.
Pour en savoir plus sur le projet de barrage d'Alqueva : http://www.despodata.pt/geota/ingles/alqueva.htm
04.02.01: Court upholds protection
of river Danube
LUXEMBOURG - The European Court of Justice dismissed
a bid from Spain to annul the Convention on cooperation for the protection
and sustainable use of the river Danube and approved its adoption
under a qualified majority vote.
The disputed Danube Convention, according to the Council,
was adopted to promote at the international level measures designed
to deal with a very specific regional environmental problem - namely
the pollution of one of the longest rivers in Europe, which flows
through two member states and a number of non-member countries and
sets out to preserve, protect and improve the quality of the environment
and to encourage the prudent and rational use of the resources of
the river Danube as well as to protect human health.
full article : http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm?newsid=9685
02.02.01 : World Wetlands
World Wetlands Day features the good, the bad and
the ugly GLAND, Switzerland, February 2, 2001 (ENS) - Albanians and
Indonesians are planting trees, in Eritrea, they are counting birds
and in Greece children are painting posters. From Panama to Pakistan
and Trinidad to Thailand, people are celebrating World Wetlands Day
on this, the 30th anniversary of the signing of Ramsar Convention
on Wetlands. (ENS)
For full text and graphics, visit: http://ens.lycos.com/ens/feb2001/2001L-02-02-10.html
01.02.01 : Indian Quake Shakes
Up Fear Of Dam Collapse
AHMEDABAD, India, (ENS) - As India struggles to come
to grips with devastation and loss after the worst earthquake in living
memory, critics of a controversial dam on the Narmada River warn that
it is located in a seismically active zone of Gujarat state.
By Tara Chand Malhotra
For full text and graphics visit: http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2001/2001L-02-01-01.html