TO THE "NEWER" News
26.09.02: Restore our wetlands
or face worse floods
WWF, the conservation organization, today called on
the EU and national governments to do more to prevent future flooding
and not to use the new "Solidarity Fund" to repeat the mistakes
that have led to Europe's
recurring and intensifying floods. Otherwise, WWF warned, this trend
will continue and possibly intensify in future.
WWF pointed out that policies for flood mitigation exist in the new
EU Water Framework Directive (WFD).
19.09.02 : Les 15 et 17 octobre 2002, la
17ème Chambre correctionnelle du TGI de Paris jugera la plainte
en diffamation déposée par la Lyonnaise des eaux contre
Jean-Philippe Joseph, professeur d'économie et Radio France.
Jean-Philippe Joseph est poursuivi par Suez-Lyonnaise
des eaux France pour "atteinte à lhonneur et à
la réputation de la société".
Voici ses propos, tenus sur France Culture en mars 2001: "Vivendi
a essentiellement utilisé toute une série doutils
stratégiques et juridiques, de corruption aussi, puisquun
certain nombre d élus -pas seulement Vivendi, il y a
aussi la Lyonnaise des Eaux et les autres -il y a un certain nombre
délus qui ont dit que la corruption était au cur
de ces marchés-là. Alors quand on utilise la corruption
pour avoir accès à des marchés on passe déjà
système qui est hors marché.Ca va être larrosage
dun club de foot, de financements etc. pour avoir accès
à un marché. Cest la première chose. Deuxième
chose, il va y avoir pompage des ressources de manière régulière.
Ca va être faire surpayer les factures deau. A Avignon,
leau était surfacturée de 3 francs. Autre cas,
ça va être des entreprises qui vont faire payer des infrastructures
deux fois alors que ce nétait pas nécessaire ;
elles vont faire payer des frais de structure etc., etc., donc elles
vont utiliser le contrat de leau et tout ce qui est autour de
la gestion de leau pour récupérer toute une série
de sommes qui vont leur permettre après à la fois de
grossir et à la fois dinvestir dans dautres secteurs."
Les médias se sont faits largement l'écho de scandales,
bien réels, de corruption de ce type depuis un certain nombre
d'années. Les propos de J.Ph. Joseph reflètent une réalité
connue du public. L'objectif de Suez à travers ce procès
cache certainement une stratégie d'image, "policée"
à outrance, et de musellement de toute mise en question, et
en lumière, de ses agissements. Cette tentative d'intimidation,
véritable atteinte à la liberté d'expression,
n'est pas acceptable, l' équilibre des forces étant
de plus fortement inégal dans le domaine de l'information et
de la communication : TF1est une filiale de Bouygues (autrement dit
Saur, dans le domaine de l'eau), Canal + Plus appartient à
Vivendi (tout comme l'Express et l'Expansion) et M6 compte Suez dans
Un vaste mouvement de soutien à Jean-Philippe
Joseph se met en place.
Pour en savoir plus : "eau
et cours" en format pdf et contacter : firstname.lastname@example.org
Aussi : ACME (Association pour le Contrat Mondial de l'Eau / e-mail
: email@example.com) pour participer à des actions de soutien
à J-Ph. Joseph.
18.09.02 : International Rivers Network Statement
on the World Summit on Sustainable Development
Johannesburg Summit Endorses Business as Usual for River Destroyers
The outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development will do
nothing to halt the rapid degradation of the world's rivers and impoverishment
of the communities who directly depend on them. Rampant dam building,
pollution, bad farming practices, channelization, deforestation, urban
sprawl, and climate change are sickening the rivers of the world.
The agreements made at the WSSD at best fail to rein in the forces
destroying rivers, and at worst encourage them. Current patterns of
energy consumption are the single major cause of global environmental
problems. If there had been political will at the WSSD to reverse
ecological degradation and improve energy supplies to the poor, the
governments would have agreed a bold plan for shifting subsidies from
fossil fuels, nuclear and hydro to energy efficiency, conservation
and new renewable technologies such as solar and wind power. Instead,
the so-called "Plan of Implementation" states that countries should
"diversify energy supply by developing advanced, cleaner, more efficient,
affordable and cost-effective energy technologies, including fossil
fuel technologies and renewable energy technologies, hydro included
. . " (Para 19(e)).
Encouraging the use of hydro and fossil fuels, which already make
up more than 90% of the world's primary energy supply, will offer
no diversification benefits and will only worsen environmental problems,
including the destruction of rivers. Hydropower is not an advanced
technology, having changed little since the 1930s. It is not clean,
as it worsens water quality and destroys riverine biodiversity. Rotting
organic matter in reservoirs, especially in the tropics, can emit
high amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Large hydropower
is rarely affordable and cost-effective: big dams are extremely expensive
to build and often fail to meet their generation targets. Hydropower
is highly vulnerable to the increased floods and droughts caused by
global warming. Most hydropower plants are not renewable, as their
reservoirs will ultimately fill with sediments. International Rivers
Network believes that only small hydro plants that meet the requirements
of the World Commission on Dams (WCD) should be defined as renewable.
(IRN uses the common definition of "small hydro" as meaning plants
that have an installed capacity not greater than 10 megawatts). Brazilian
negotiators pushed for a target of 10% of the world's energy to be
produced from renewables by 2010, with large hydro excluded from the
definition. Norway supported this position.
The EU, which supported a target of 15%, wanted
to include large hydro. India, China and Russia also strongly favored
the definition of large hydro as renewable. Brazil put forward a compromise
position that renewable energy could include dams that are WCD-compliant
or which do not damage the environment. This position was also rejected.
In the end, pressure from the US and OPEC ensured that no renewable
targets were adopted in the Plan of Implementation. Many commentators
have claimed that the Summit made important progress in the areas
of water supply and sanitation.
IRN welcomes the agreement on goals for halving those without access
to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. Yet there is
nothing in the "Plan of Implementation" or in the government and corporate
rhetoric at the Summit to suggest that the necessary resources, commitment
and approaches to meeting the targets will be forthcoming. It must
be noted that the international community has repeatedly set itself
ambitious goals on water and sanitation and failed to meet them. In
1981 the UN set a target to provide universal drinking water and sanitation
by 1990. In 1990, the World Summit for Children called for universal
coverage by 1995.
Agenda 21, agreed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, suggested that
by 2000 all urban residents should have access to safe water and 75%
of urban residents should have adequate sanitation. The Bush Administration
has rightly been widely criticized as an environmental rogue nation
and chief culprit for the Summit's failure. Yet many other governments
and international bodies are also to blame for being driven by short-term
self-interest, a lack of vision and subservience to corporate greed.
A massive upsurge in pressure from the grassroots is needed to change
the policies that are destroying rivers and entrenching the dead grip
of poverty and environmental destruction upon our planet. There were
however some rays of hope to shine out of Johannesburg.
IRN welcomes the joint declaration on renewable energy issued at the
end of the summit by the EU, Brazil and other European and Latin American
states. The brief declaration expresses the countries' strong commitment
to renewables and states that the signatories "will work together
to substantially increase the global share of renewable energy sources
. . . on the basis of clear and ambitious time bound targets . . ."
The joint declaration does not define renewables. IRN will strive
to ensure that it does not result in the promotion of large hydro.
IRN also welcomes the agreement between Brazilian and South African
public water service provider organizations which seeks to improve
provision of water and sanitation to the poor in Brazil and South
Africa. The South African-Brazilian public-public partnership is also
intended to help public water utilities elsewhere to improve their
services, especially to the very poorest. International Rivers Network
will strive to ensure that the only form of hydropower that receives
subsidies aimed at mitigating climate change is small hydro compliant
with the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams. We will
also continue our efforts to strengthen and broaden the diverse and
dynamic movement of grassroots groups fighting to save and restore
International Rivers Network Berkeley, California
17.09.02 : Germany
to review river developments after floods.
GERMANY: September 17, 2002 The German government
presented a package of measures on the weekend aimed at avoiding a
repeat of last month's devastating floods. The recommendations include
calling a halt to all construction projects designed to improve rivers
for shipping traffic until the government has completed a review of
the environmental consequences. The plan also proposes an end to building
on flood plains and removing some dykes and flood defences so rivers
can swell naturally, removing pressure downstream.
The five-point plan was presented at a national conference
on floods in Berlin. Floods swept through eastern and southern Germany
last month killing at least 16 people and caused 15 billion euros
of damage. They were blamed in part on the fact there has been so
much construction along rivers they have no room to flood without
causing disaster. "Every building of flood defences increases the
flood risk for those further downstream. That is why a national effort
must give rivers back their natural flood plains in uninhabited areas...,"
the plan said. "In future, no new residential or commercial properties
will be allowed on flood plains," it added. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's
firm handling of the floods crisis is credited with helping to boost
his Social Democrats in opinion polls a week before a general election.
The government recommended reviewing all river projects
by early 2003 to assess their environmental consequences including
those on the Elbe river that submerged historic Dresden and many other
towns last month. The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK)
said it agreed more attention should be paid to flood protection in
planning new developments but said the proposals were too extreme.
"The demand not to allow any more building on flood plains goes too
far," the DIHK said in a statement. Werner Schnappauf, environment
minister of Bavaria, the home state of conservative chancellor candidate
Edmund Stoiber, said Sunday's conference was a "transparent election
manoeuvre". "The flood is being misused for election purposes. It
is shabby to make an election campaign with the suffering of flood
victims," he said in a statement. "The flood conference is trying
to compensate for years of inaction by the government."
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
on the 5 point plan are avaiable in german (pdf)
13.09.02 : UK: A water framework full of
promise - but promises must be kept
from Edie News http://www.edie.net/gf.cfm?L=left_frame.html&R=http://www.edie.net/news/Archive/5978.cfm
Scientists across Europe must ensure politicians set
proper ecological targets for the Water Framework Directive, says
a panel of freshwater scientists. If ecologists don’t insist upon
the inclusion of adequate protection, monitoring and restoration schemes,
the directive will leave Europe with biologically poor waters. courtesy
The Water Framework Directive is one of the most important steps forward
for water management for many decades, Environment Agency ecologist
Geoff Phillips told an audience at the BA Science Festival. “This
is an enormous advance, because now we have to measure success in
the ecological quality of the environment.” The directive brings two
new approaches to the way Europe must manage its waters. Countries
must now assess the health of entire catchment areas, using River
Basin Management Plans, and monitor biological as well as chemical
content. Although the Agency already surveys some waters accordingly
in the UK, the new directive will require many more to be monitored
for a wide range of species and substances.
The second requirement, set out with a strict timetable, is for the
majority of water bodies to be classified as of high, good, moderate,
poor or bad quality. Those that are moderate or below will have to
be brought up to good quality - meaning only slightly altered from
their natural biological and chemical state. Although the directive
is geared towards improving the ecology of waters, warning bells are
already ringing and the first toll, says the panel, is for governments
that are not seeing the full picture. “Water legislation has not kept
pace with scientific understanding of how water systems work,” says
Brian Moss, Professor of Botany. “The immediate step is to convince
government that its approach to the directive is out-of-date in ecological
A recent report by the WWF (see related story) also argued that not
only are most European waters of poor ecological quality, but many
countries will fail meet the Directive’s criteria on restoring waters
to good quality by 2015. So what is a ‘good quality’ status and how
do you achieve it? Over the last decade, over a thousand scientists
have been involved in the consultation process to reach agreed standards,
and the Directive will specify the monitoring of a number of ‘indicator
organisms’ such as fish, insects and phytoplankton species. But, says
Roger Sweeting, Chief Executive of the Freshwater Biological Association,
there are key species missing such as bacteria and introduced species
of fish. Natural bacterial populations may be overwhelmed by those
entering waters from sewage and run-off, but the directive won’t pick
up on this, he argues. Introduced or invading species such as the
Chinese mitten crab and American crayfish will also not be monitored
for their effect on ‘natural’ populations. Under the directive, you
could effectively name the cleanest water in the UK as that flowing
through London pipes, but clean water doesn’t equal good quality water
in the environment, says ecologist Simon Harrison. “When we monitor
rivers we look for pollution-sensitive species such as the mayfly,
but even if they return this doesn’t mean the river is fully restored.
Other species like otter, kingfishers and dippers are an important
part of the ecosystem but they need complex environments, so we have
to preserve or restore the physical characteristics of rivers such
as riffles, pools and meanders.
Different parts of a river breed different biota.” So how should rivers
be restored? “Some rivers are very, very badly damaged, but this is
not widely known,” continues Harrison. “The rivers have been drained,
dredged and straightened, and there is very little natural habitat
The Environment Agency does try to restore some river systems but
restoration methods are so small scale that they don’t really work.
We need to have large scale rehabilitation that restores the structure
of the river and protects margins and floodplains.” The panel, along
with many other scientists and organisations, is calling for greater
focus on the UK’s wetlands. “Wetlands should be restored to act once
again as flood reservoirs and immobilisers of pollutants,” says Brian
Moss. The panel was united in blaming poor land-use as a destroyer
of rivers, with farming practices such as sheep grazing prone to altering
a river’s structure as well as its chemical and biological balance.
When cattle graze next to a river they erode its edges, sending soil
– and thus pollutants and nutrients – into the water and making the
river wider and shallower. Where the cattle are grazing on low porosity
soil that is easily prone to oversaturation and flooding, the cattle
trample the remaining porosity, forcing water, pollutants and nutrients
out of the soil and creating a greater likelihood of flooding. In
upland areas with steep slopes, says freshwater scientist Penny Johnes,
grazing sheep are creating a cascade of loose soil that falls into
lakes and rivers. “These are fragile environments that can’t cope,”
Johnes and her colleagues urge the UK government to rethink agricultural
policy, even to the point of asking farmers to move cattle and crops
to regions more suitable for that type of farming, or switch from
stock to land management. “We already have set aside, but it hasn’t
been used in a targeted way,” argues Johnes. Diffuse sources of pollution
are also increasingly problematic. “We now have evidence of extensive
nitrogen pollution in upland waters,” says Johnes. “And in some places
atmospheric deposition accounts for 50% of the nitrogen entering the
water.” In other words, a growing fondness for cars across Europe
is sending more nitrous oxides into the atmosphere, which in turn
are making their way into rivers and lakes. More than three-quarters
of the UK’s Sites of Special Scientific Interest are showing signs
of eutrophication. “My biggest concern is the timescales,” Geoff Phillips
told edie. Over the next two years the UK will have to classify its
waters according to one of the five criteria, and pick sites that
are borderline good/moderate and high/good for comparison with other
Agreements between countries with similar types of water will be used
to set universal criteria for the different quality levels. “There
is an urgent need to select sample sites that lie close to the boundaries.
The directive requires these sites to be identified during 2003. But
by 2003 the UK and most other member states will still be developing
their various approaches to the directive,” says Phillips. By 2004
the UK will have to have characterised and carried out risk assessments
on all its waters. By 2006 it will need to have set up monitoring
programmes. And by 2009 the first River Basin management Plans will
have to be published, setting the final objectives to be achieved
by 2015. It is left to Roger Sweeting to remind scientists and the
public to take part in the consultation exercise. “You can’t apply
the directive without good underlying science,” he warns. But Sweeting,
who has been actively involved in shaping the directive, is less than
optimistic. “If our government, in translating the directive, does
it properly, then we will have a powerful weapon to alleviate pollution
problems. My concern is that the government will not do that. It has
a history of not implementing legislation properly. Unless politicians
and legislators put their teeth into the directive it will go the
same way as the urban waste water directive [see related story], where
we only paid lip service to it until we were threatened with a £65
from Edie News
12.09.02 : Snake River
Dams to Be Improved, Not Breached
PORTLAND, Oregon, September 12, 2002 (ENS) - The U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers has decided to improve fish passages at four
dams on the lower Snake River, rather than removing the dams entirely,
to boost the survival of dwindling salmon populations. The decision
comes on the heels of a new study suggesting that dam removal would
create jobs and leave the Northwestern economy unharmed.
Fourteen Pacific Northwest populations of salmon and
steelhead, like this chinook salmon, are listed as threatened. (Photo
courtesy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)
The Corps announced this week it has chosen major system improvements,
now called "adaptive migration," as the selected alternative
in its study of improving salmon passage through the four lower Snake
River dams. Brigadier General David Fastabend, the Corps' Northwestern
Division commander, signed the Record of Decision on September 9.
Full article : http://ens-news.com/ens/sep2002/2002-09-12-07.asp
For more information on the Corps' Lower Snake River
Juvenile Salmon Migration Feasibility Study, visit: http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/lsr
12.09.02 : China : Giant dam
could cause geological disasters
BEIJING - A 600-km (365-mile) reservoir that will start filling behind
China's giant Three Gorges dam next year could cause geological disasters
in the surrounding area, state media said yesterday.
The government had set aside four billion yuan ($480 million) to prevent
landslides and other disasters at almost 2,500 dangerous sites identified
around the reservoir, the official Xinhua news agency quoted a top
official as saying.
The area around the dam on the Yangtze River would be "prone
to geological disasters after the project is completed in 2009",
Xinhua quoted Shou Jiahua, vice minister of land and resources, as
"The increase of water level is likely to break
the original geological stability," he said.
The 185-metre (607-foot) dam, the largest water control
project in the world, has been plagued by reports of shoddy construction,
rampant corruption and criticism from environmental experts and human
A senior Chinese official said earlier this year that
cracks had appeared in the dam, which requires the relocation of 1.13
million people to make way for the lake.
Some 646,000 of those had already been removed from
the reservoir basin, which would be closed off in June 2003, the China
Daily quoted Guo Shuyan, director of the cabinet's Three Gorges Construction
Committee, as saying.
Guo said the dam, now 70 percent complete, had stood
up well to swollen waters on the Yangtze after torrential rains over
"The dam's design is absolutely safe and, when
it is completed, it will be able to control floods effectively,"
"Having been severely tested by floods this summer,
the completed sections of the dam have reassured people."
China says the dam, begun in 1993 and expected to
cost 200 billion yuan ($25 billion), is needed to contain the Yangtze's
devastating annual floods and to meet future power demand.
Critics say the project, first planned decades ago,
is not a practical solution to either problem and could cause severe
pollution and silting by slowing the river's flow.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
10.09.02 : China to list dam
company, raise over $360 mln
BEIJING - China hopes to raise at least $360 million
when it lists the firm building the world's biggest dam on the domestic
stock market next year, the official China Daily newspaper said yesterday.
The China Yangtze River Three Gorges Project Development Corp, which
is building the massive hydroelectric power plant, is expected to
set up a spin-off company this month to handle the listing, it said.
The subsidiary, China Yangtze Electric Power Corp, will be a shareholding
firm worth $920 million, it quoted director of the parent company's
restructuring office Kou Riming as saying.
"The listing will provide us with a platform for continuous acquisitions
for expansion," Kou said.
Construction of the dam began in 1993 and is scheduled for completion
in 2009. It was expected to cost 204 billion yuan ($24.65 billion),
but unofficial estimates put the cost as high as $75 billion, the
The newspaper said the generators would cost $1.1-2.1 billion, a third
of which would be raised by the stock listing and the remaining portion
by bonds and loans.
The first four generators, with combined capacity of 2.8 million kw,
are due to be up and running by between August and November next year
and the remaining 22 generators would be on line in seven years time,
China says the dam is needed to contain the Yangtze's devastating
annual floods and to meet future power demand.
Critics say the project, first planned decades ago, is not a practical
solution to either problem and could cause severe pollution and silting
by slowing the river's flow.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
09.09.02 : Des intempéries
d'une ampleur sans précédent provoquent des inondations
dévastatrices dans le sud-est de la France, et principalement
dans le département du Gard.
Les 8 et 9 septembre 2002, le sud-est de la France
a connu les précipitations les plus importantes jamais enregistrées
depuis l'ouverture des stations météorologiques. Le
phénomène bien connu des "pluies cévenoles"
revient chaque année, entre septembre et octobre, frapper la
région. Des courants d'air chaud et humide provenant de la
Méditerranée remontent vers l'intérieur du pays,
rencontrent des masses d'air froid venant du Nord et se bloquent en
situation de nuées d'orages sur les contreforts des Cévennes,
où ils se déversent violemment.
Mais la durée, l'intensité et l'étendue
géographique de cette mousson méditerranéenne
ont dépassé toutes les prévisions et l'historique
connu. Les précipitations ont atteint plus de 670 mm à
Anduze et de 500 à 600 mm dans la région d'Alès,
soit la valeur des précipitations annuelles de Paris.
Les cours d'eau du Gardon, du Vidourle et du Vistre
ont débordé, provoquant la désolation. Le Gardon
a submergé ses digues, l'eau atteignant jusqu'à 3 m
de hauteur dans le village de 3 600 habitants d'Aramont et l'isolant
au milieu d'une véritable mer intérieure. La ville de
Sommières, construite depuis le Moyen-Age dans le lit du Vidourle
et grande habituée des inondations, a été dévastée.
La caserne des pompiers avait été construite en février
de cette année en zone inondable.
Le mode d'urbanisation est rendu responsable de la
gravité accrue des dégâts et du nombre des victimes.
Ainsi, la pression immobilière exercée sur les maires
des communes pour construire en zones inondables, le développement
des lotissements sur d'anciennes zones d'extension et de ralentissement
des crues, le flux important de nouveaux habitants dans les départements
du Midi, contribuent à placer sur le trajet des inondations
toujours plus de biens et de victimes potentielles. Depuis 1995, la
loi impose aux Maires d'inclure dans les Plans Locaux d'Urbanisme
(PLU), permettant de délivrer les permis de construire, des
Plans de Préventions de Risques (PPR) qui définissent
les périmètres où les constructions sont hors
danger. Dans certains cas, ces PPR peuvent aboutir à des mesures
d'expropriation dans des zones à risque.
Le bilan, établi le 17 septembre, fait état
de 22 victimes et 3 disparus. Les autorités déplorent
que la majorité des morts survenues durant les inondations
soit due à l'imprudence. La population manque de "culture
du risque" et oublie des principes élémentaires
comme rester chez soi et écouter la radio, en cas de diffusion
de bulletins d'alerte ou de conditions climatiques violentes.
L'annonce des crues doit être de son côté améliorée.
C'est le maire d'Aramont qui a demandé au curé de sonner
le tocsin pour prévenir la population de l'inondation imminente.
En ce qui concerne la prévention et l'appréciation
de ce phénomène, le radar météorologique
Aramis d'Opoul (Pyrénnées Orientales) a vocation de
détecter les "pluies cévenoles", depuis sa
mise en service en 2000.
L' ouverture, prévue en 2003, à Toulouse, d'un centre
hydro-météorologique national permettra une meilleure
connexion entre services météo et hydrologiques, afin
de comprendre "comment la pluie se transforme en débit",
et une mise en commun des bases de données concernant les précipitations,
les reliefs et le niveau des eaux des rivières.
Source : articles parus dans Le Monde du 12 septembre
"Les inondations ont semé la désolation dans le
Gard" de Robert Belleret.
"Mme Bachelot veut réformer le service des annonces des
crues" de Benoît Hopquin.
"L'ampleur des précipitations a surpris les prévisionnistes"
de Hervé Morin.
"Le mode d'urbanisation aggrave les conséquences des intempéries"
de Françoise Chirot.
Site web du journal "Le
Monde" pour d'autres articles sur ce sujet.
05.09.02 : EU Commission propose
scientifique support for flood warning system
In a communication responding to the devastating floods
across Europe during August, the European Commission has pledged to
provide scientific support for a European flood warning system. The
flooding in central Europe reached unprecedented levels. Dozens of
people lost their lives, the socio-economic infrastructure of entire
regions was disrupted and natural and cultural heritage was damaged.
Preliminary estimates indicate damage amounting to 15 billion euro
in Germany, two billion in Austria, between two and three billion
in the Czech Republic and up to 35 million in Slovakia. The European
flood warning system will provide information on the main European
basins with real time access to medium term meteorological forecasts.
In the longer term, the Commission believes that the floods should
initiate reflection in Europe on whether human intervention contributed
to these exceptional climatic conditions, in particular through high
levels of greenhouse gas emissions and inadequate land use and water
Source: Cordis, http://www.cordis.lu
04.09.02 : 39
000 PETITIONS SIGNEES CONTRE LE PROJET DE CONNEXION DES EAUX DE TARRAGONE
ET DU TER-LLOBREGAT, PREAMBULE AU TRANSFERT D'EAU DE L'EBRE A BARCELONE.
Le 4 septembre 2002, une centaine de militants
de la P.D.E. (Plateforme de Défense de l'Ebro) ont remis 39000
pétitions, rangées dans 20 caisses, à l'Agence
Catalane de l'Eau (A.C.A.) à Barcelone. Des 3900 pétitions,
33825 proviennent de particuliers des communes de l'Ebre, un millier
de la coordination COAGRET, et le reste de diverses associations écologistes
Le porte parole de la P.D.E., Manolo Tomàs, a dénoncé
la présentation du projet de la connexion en plein mois d'août.
Les membres de la PDE et des groupes écologistes ont rencontré
la directrice de l'Agence de l'Eau, Marta Lacambra, à qui ils
ont demandé d'élargir le délai de présentation
des pétitions : "Si nous avions plus de temps, nous pourrions
en recueillir 60 000".
En plus des pétitions de particuliers, d'autres, plus techniques,
ont porté sur les aspects concrets du projet. Elles expliquent
que les ouvrages d'agrandissement projetés doteraient le mini-transvasement
de la capacité nécessaire pour atteindre les 190 hm/3
par an prévus par le PHN. Le plan exige la réalisation
d'une étude d'impact globale du transvasement, mais pour le
projet de canalisation jusqu'à Barcelone, seule une étude
sur le 1er tronçon a été effectuée, alors
que l'ouvrage en compte six.
La coordination anti-transvasement dénonce aussi que l'analyse
du coût réel pour le consommateur n'a pas été
réalisée, et que la qualité de l'eau de l'Ebre
est si mauvaise qu'elle ne peut remplir les conditions exigées
pour l'eau potable.
Résumé article de Lalli Cambra, paru
le 05.09.02 dans El Pais. Copyright DIARIO EL PAIS, S.L
02.09.02: World Bank to examin
dam projects on Bio Bio river
Envoys To Investigate Ralco Dam Project
SOURCE: LA NACION
The World Bank will send investigators next October
to assess the complaints made by the Pehuenche indigenous groups about
the construction of the controversial Pangue and Ralco dams.
The team will determine whether the Spanish-Chilean energy giant,
Endesa, and its affiliates have fulfilled legal conditions to build
the dams on the Bio Bio River in Region VIII.
The envoys will come from the Bank's Office of the Ombudsman and will
look into the controversy over the construction of the dam - planned
to meet future growth in the country's electricity needs Cristian
Opazo, a representative of the Bio Bio Action Group, said the World
Bank envoys are responding to complaints filed by 43 Pehuenche and
33 other locals at the start of July.
The group wants to prevent Endesa or any of its affiliates from receiving
funds from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary
of the World Bank.
The Bio Bio Action Group justified its complaint on the grounds that
Endesa had failed its contracts with the indigenous communities in
the region, and that building the dam would work against the culture
and way of life of the Pehuenches.
The Bank Ombudsman will assess the Pehuenches' complaints so that
the bank can respond in a "just, objective and constructive manner".
The Pehuenche have taken part in extensive court battles over the
dam, arguing that their forced relocation would disrupt their seasonal
migration between higher altitudes in the summer and the riverside's
warmer climate in the winter.
They also claim the dams will lead to the destruction of tribal burial
grounds and impede the natural flow of the river, itself holding cultural
and spiritual significance for the Pehuenche.
But recent court rulings went against the Pehuenche, and work on the
US$500 million dam has continued.
The campaigners then turned to the World Bank.
The IFC has intervened in construction of the Bio Bio dams in the
In May 1996 the World Bank submitted a report comparing the company's
activities with the agreement drawn up between the IFC and Pangue
that strongly criticized the Pehuen Foundation, a body created by
Endesa after building the Pangue dam.
The IFC then refused to guarantee further loans to the dam.
The campaign against the dam has taken many forms over the last two
In June, a bomb exploded in Santiago outside an office of Endesa subsidiary
Chilectra, scattering pamphlets with the message "Enersis get
out of Pehuenche territories" across the area.
A number of law suits have also slowed the dam's construction.
A suit presented by the indigenous rights activists Berta and Nicolasa
Quintreman, aimed at halting construction of the Ralco hydroelectric
plant, was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court and the issue
has received extensive coverage in both the print and television media.
The Quintreman sisters filed a suit in January 2000 claiming they
would be adversely affected by the dam's construction and operation.
The lawsuit alleged that former Economy Minister Jorge Leiva illegally
granted the Endesa electricity company the rights to build the Ralco
Leiva's decree was based on the 1982 General Law on Electric Services.
A team from the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH) also
visited the region in 1997 to study the situation of Pehuenche who
face displacement by the Ralco hydroelectric plant.
And so the controversy continues.
Chile's national media has granted special attention to the protests,
although many activists say they misrepresent the indigenous peoples,
portraying them as violent terrorists.
Source: CHIP News
39.000 ALEGACIONES CONTRA
EL TRASVASE DE AGUA DEL EBRO A BARCELONA :
La plataforma de entidades satura de recursos la Agencia Catalana
de Lalli Cambra, el 05.09.02 en el periodico "El Pais"
30.08.02 : EU said it hopes to set upa distaster
relief fund of up to one billion Euros after floods caused havoc Germany,
AUstria, Czech Republic and Slovakia
Officials will also work on freeing up billions of
euros in aid from reshuffling budgets to help Germany meet the costs
of cleaning up after the disaster. The floods in central Europe in
August caused deaths, forced evacuations of homes and left widespread
damage in historical cities such as Prague and Dresden. The decision
to form a disaster fund was taken to provide fast relief in the wake
of any catastrophe.
Read more at http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/17510/story.htm
Source: Reuters News Service via Planet Ark
29.08.02 :Turkey may be selling
fresh water to Israel but it is extremely short of water itself
Turkey sells water to Israel 29.08.02 Planet Ark :
Turkey may be selling fresh water to Israel but it is extremely short
of water itself and must invest $1 billion a year on building new
dams, the chief of the country's water authority said this week. Turkey
earlier this month agreed to sell 50 million cubic metres (1.77 billion
cu ft) of water annually to Israel from the outflow of the Manavgat
river into the Mediterranean Sea. "The Manavgat has a capacity of
186 million cubic metres. We can provide water for any country that
asks. Not because Turkey has excess water but because we want to share
water we cannot use with our neighbours," State Water Works Director
Mumtaz Turfan told reporters. "Turkey is not water-rich, in fact it
is a country that could soon hit a water crisis," he said.
Full story at http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/17490/story.htm
Source: Reuters News Service via Planet Ark
28.08.02 : Rencontre-Débat sur
le transfert du Rhône à Barcelone le 28 septembre 2002
à Girona (Espagne)
"NI L'EBRE NI LE RHONE"
"Nous voulons une nouvelle Culture de l'Eau"
La Plateforme d'Opposition aux Transferts (POT) et
le Réseau pour une Nouvelle Culture de l'Eau
vous invitent à participer à un débat sur le
projet du transfert du Rhône en Catalogne.
28 SEPTEMBRE 2002 -CASA DE CULTURA DE GIRONA
(devant l'Hôpital de Santa Caterina)
de 16h00 à 21h00
Pour établir la coordination entre les associations catalanes
plusieurs axes de réflexion seront proposés :
- Premier transfert transnational d'eau potable, précurseur
des " grandes autoroutes " de l'eau à péage,
dans toute l'Europe,
- Stimulation de la demande de l'eau et des grands projets d'urbanisation.
- Extension des risques de contamination entre bassins hydrologiques.
Pour confirmer votre présence, merci de prendre
contact au :
00.34. 972.75.80.01. ou 00.34.9188.8.131.52.
"NI EL EBRO NI EL
"QUEREMOS UNA NUEVA CULTURA DEL AGUA"
La Plataforma de Oposicion a los Trasvases (POT) y
la Red para una Nueva Cultura del Agua os invitan a participar en
un debate sobre el proyecto del trasvase del Rodano a Catalunya.
28 SEPTIEMBRE 2002 -CASA DE CULTURA DE GIRONA
(delante del Hospital de Santa Caterina)
de 16h00 a 21h00
Para establecer la coordinacion entre las asociaciones catalanas y
francesas, proponemos unas lineas de reflexion:
- Es el primer trasvase transnacional de agua potable, precursor de
las " grandes autopistas de peage " del agua en Europa,
- Estimula la demanda de agua y de los grandes proyectos de urbanizacion.
- Extiende los riesgos de contaminacion entre cuencas hidrologicas.
Rogamos confirmeis vuestra assistencia : 972.75.80.01.
20.08.02: Giant Chinese Lake
Threatens to Flood Millions
Last Updated: August 20, 2002 08:47 AM ET
BEIJING (Reuters) - Fast-rising waters in a huge lake
in southern China have swollen above flood warning marks, threatening
to engulf millions of people as a tropical storm dumps rain on the
region, state media and local residents said Tuesday.
Water levels at Dongting, China's second largest freshwater lake and
a giant overflow for the flood-prone Yangtze river, had risen more
than 5 feet over the 105-foot warning mark in the past two days, state
Waters on the lake in Hunan province reached 110 feet Tuesday, the
highest level in nearly three years, and were expected to rise further
in the next few days, it said.
"A flood wave on the Yangtze river will enter Hunan within the
coming days," it said. "Local people are preparing for a
water level of 35 meters."
The lake hit a historical high 118 feet in 1998 when some of China's
worst floods in decades killed 4,000 people, many in the south.
Tropical storm Vongfong was expected to dump torrential rain on parts
of Hunan and to swell the Xiangjiang river -- one of four feeding
into Dongting lake -- well beyond danger levels Tuesday night, one
Hunan provincial official said.
"Vongfong will affect the Xiangjiang river, so it will impact
the Dongting lake system," he said.
CHINA BRACES FOR WORST
The official China Daily newspaper said the lake could
burst its banks, unleashing the worst floods yet this year.
Thousands had been mobilized to reinforce embankments around the lake
that shield more than 10 million people and 1.6 million acres of fertile
farmland, the daily said.
The television news said the lake had hit warning levels along some
560 miles of embankments.
China's summer floods, which began early this year, have already killed
more than 900 people, prompting warnings from government officials
that it could be more deadly than 1998.
However, some people in Yueyang, a major city on the banks of Dongting
lake, appeared sanguine.
The rain had stopped for the moment, a hotel worker told Reuters by
"The water is slightly higher than in previous years, but no
one is talking about floods. The authorities take measures every year,"
Meanwhile, floods and landslides in the southwestern province of Yunnan
this month killed 231 people and caused $435 million of damage, the
semi-official China News Service said on its Web Site www.chinanews.com.
Deluges that struck the eastern province of Jiangsu since July helped
unleash a landslide Monday that cut traffic on a railway line linking
Beijing with Hong Kong, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Few provinces have escaped the wrath of the summer rains. Other recent
victims included Zhejiang, where 21 people were killed and eight reported
missing after mountain torrents swept through dozens of villages this
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