Garabi hydel project criticized

Published: Wednesday 30 April 2008

Construction has begun on Gara (Credit: ABB)As the governments of Argentina and Brazil are taking a new look at the Garabi hydroelectric project, initially planned in 1972, environmentalists are calling attention to the dam's potential harm to the Uruguay river basin.

Already riddled with several dams, the flow of the Uruguay river, which flows through Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, is insufficient to run turbines. Ecologists say the 2,800-megawatt Garabi project will affect the river's already highly exploited water source and turn it into a series of ponds.

The Fundacin Proteger, an Argentina-based environmental agency, says the dam would flood nearly 33,000 hectares of inhabited land. It will also choke water supply to the downstream Uruguay.

Environmentalists demand that governments of the three countries should come up with a common water resource management policy for the Uruguay River basin.

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