The Stream, April 6: Mekong Dams Would Have Highly Adverse Effects, Study Finds

The Global Rundown

A study by Vietnam found that proposed dams on the Mekong River would have extremely adverse effects on economic and environmental resources in the basin. Officials in India’s Bihar state are opposing a government plan to build dams on the Ganges River. Farmers in Nicaragua suffered millions of dollars in losses due to drought last year. New York City has postponed work to finish a crucial new water supply tunnel. Polar bear weights in Canada declined at the same time Arctic sea ice melt accelerated. Dry winter conditions have raised concerns about water supplies in southeastern Sweden.

“The construction of such a large number of dams and barrages for the waterway will lead to high silt deposition in the Ganga. It will lead to floods in at least 36 towns situated along the bank of the river in the state.” –Rajiv Ranjan Singh, water resource minister for India’s Bihar state, on a government plan to improve the navigability of India’s waterways to transport goods. (The Third Pole)

By The Numbers

$200 million Estimated losses to farmers in Nicaragua in 2015 due to an El Nino-linked drought that has also dried up streams and rivers. Inter Press Service

5 million people Number living in Brooklyn and Queens, where a third water tunnel supplying New York City remains unfinished and delayed. If one of the other existing water tunnels were to fail, residents could be without a primary water supply for at least three months. The New York Times

20 degrees Celsius Unseasonable temperature expected in southeastern Sweden this week. A lack of rain and snow over the winter has also raised concerns about low water supplies and groundwater levels in the region. The Local

Science, Studies, And Reports

The average weight of polar bears living along the northern coast of Ontario declined significantly since the 1980s, the same time period when Arctic sea ice was melting, according to a new study by Canadian researchers. The average weight for female bears dropped 12 percent, while the average weight of males dropped 9 percent. Guardian

On The Radar

Building 11 proposed dams on the lower main stem of the Mekong River could result in “high to very high adverse effects on some of the key sectors and environmental resources in Cambodia and Vietnam,” according to a study submitted by Vietnam to the Mekong River Commission. The study has not yet been made public. Associated Press

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