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Lancang (Mekong) River

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Other Projects to Watch

Three Gorges Dam


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Berkeley, CA 94703

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Other Projects to Watch

Megoe Tso Lake

Megoe Tso Lake

Megoe Tso Lake.
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The sacred and holy Tibetan Megoe Tso Lake (also known as Mugecuo Lake) faces the threat of being dammed. For over a thousand years, this ecological wilderness has been a cultural and natural heritage site not only for local Tibetan and Chinese people, but for humanity as a whole. Megoe Tso Lake, together with nearby springs and pools, sustains more than 1,000 species of rare tropical plants and 2,000 varieties of animals and birds. Spiritual pilgrims, tourists, botanists and photographers from around the world visit the area every year and the lake has been a spiritual site since pre-Buddhist times. Damming the waters of this sacred lake for hydroelectric power would seriously undermine the natural and cultural heritage of the area. The project has been on hold since 2004, but plans may be revived at any time.

Chinese Prefecture Cancels Dam Project on Sacred Tibetan Lake
Ganzi Prefecture announced in early November it was scrapping a controversial dam project on the sacred Tibetan Megoe Tso Lake in western Sichuan Province of China. A spokesperson for the Ganzi Prefecture was quoted as saying that "although hydropower is clean energy, we are strongly against the impacts of this development on the environment", November 14, 2006.
Megoe Tso: The Damming of Tibet’s Sacred Lake
This report by the Tibet Justice Center reviews the Chinese government’s plans to build a dam on eastern Tibet’s most sacred lake, Megoe Tso, April 2005.
Letter to Premier Wen Jiabao
Regarding concerns over China’s plans to dam the Mugecuo Lake, sent from International Tibet Support Network, International Rivers Network, Sierra Club, Habitat International Coalition, and IUCN Council Member Ecological Society of the Philippines, January 2004.
Destroying a Natural Treasure in the Name of Progress
South China Morning Post, August 16, 2003.

Tiger Leaping Gorge Dam

China’s Revered Tiger Leaping Gorge may soon be flooded

China’s Revered Tiger Leaping Gorge may soon be flooded.
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China’s State Development and Reform Commission considers the proposed Tiger Leaping Gorge Dam a priority for hydropower development. One of a series of 8 dams planned on the middle portion of the Jinsha River (Upper Yangtze), the dam would flood the spectacular and much-revered Tiger Leaping Gorge and forcibly displace 100,000 people from their lands. Critics of the dam hope to stop the project’s development before construction starts in 2008.

Greed for Energy Threatens to Dam Legendary Gorge
Tens of thousands fear they will be displaced if China’s latest project takes a leap forward, The Times (UK), May 9, 2006.
China Ponders Price of Progress at Spectacular Gorge
Residents and environmentalists fear that China’s hunger for hydropower to feed its booming economy could spell the end of one of the world’s deepest river gorges and scar some of the country’s most spectacular scenery, Reuters, May 8, 2006.
Delegate Calls for Tiger Leaping Gorge Rethink
A delegate at the China People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) has said that the construction of a reservoir at the Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiaoxia), a renowed tourist site on the Jinsha River in Yunnan Province, will lead to substantial losses, Interfax-China, March 6, 2006.
Waves of Ethnic Discontent Rise Up Against Tiger Leaping Gorge Dam
South China Morning Post, March 22, 2005.
Cloud of Industry Shrouds Natural Wonder
Proposed hydro dam could devastate fabled Chinese gorge and force indigenous people to relocate, Globe and Mail, November 20, 2004.
Affected People Speak Out
"The Relationship Between Dam Construction and the Rights of Original Inhabitants to Participation", submitted to the United Nations Symposium on Hydropower and Sustainable Development by Ge Quanxiao, villager affected by Hutiaoxia Dam, Wuzhu Village, Yunnan Province, China, October 2004.
Tiger Leaping... or Gorge Dam
Article on China’s plan to dam the fabled Tiger Leaping Gorge, Beijing Today, October 1, 2004.
Chinese Groups Call for Halt to Hutiaoxia Dam
Petition calls for protection of Tiger Leaping Gorge and 3 Parallel Rivers World Heritage area and for careful approach to development, September 2004.

Zipingpu Dam

Zipingpu Dam on the Min River

Zipingpu Dam on the Min River.
Credit: ChengDu Online,
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On the upper reaches of the Min River, a tributary of the Yangtze in Sichuan province, a vital irrigation system known as Dujiangyan and its surrounding areas will be negatively impacted by the Zipingpu Dam project. For over 2,200 years, water flowing through Dujiangyan has supported populations and protected them from droughts and floods. With limited and sporadic amounts of water flowing through Dujiangyan due to the Zipingpu Dam upstream, downstream impacts are expected to be tremendous. In addition, at least 40,000 people have been displaced by the project. This project is being financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and was completed in 2006.

Scenes From a River
Describes a journey along the Min River from Zipinpgu Dam to the river’s headwaters in Tibet, World Rivers Review, June 2006.
Min River Drying Up?
A series of dams and hydro projects on the Min River have caused one of the upper Yangtze River’s largest tributaries to run dry in places. Local residents and water experts are concerned that the 735-kilometer Min River could become permanently altered by dams built on its upper reaches which also threaten one of the world’s oldest irrigation systems downstream, Independent Online (South Africa), April 23, 2005.
Report on Resettlement at Zipingpu Dam
Chinese researcher Fan Xiao visited the communities resettled by Zipingpu Dam and found evidence of graft and corruption, violation of rights, and dissatisfaction with the amount of compensation given. Translated from Chinese by Kevin Li, 2005.
Development Disasters: Japanese-Funded Dam Projects in Asia
Published by IRN, Rivers Watch East and Southeast Asia and Friends of the Earth Japan. Features case studies of six Japanese-funded dam projects at various stages of implementation, including a case study on Zipingpu Dam, 2003.
Dam the Consequences
Building yet another dam could threaten an ages-old engineering marvel in Sichuan and a key part of China’s heritage. But the project is going ahead as authorities smother public debate on its impact, Far Eastern Economic Review, July 2002.
Dujiangyan Irrigation System Rules Min River for 2,000 Years
System secured Sichuan’s place as China’s granary, Far Eastern Economic Review, July 2002.
Additional Information

Aviva Imhof, Campaigns Director

International Rivers Network


Phone: +1 510-848-1155