The Stream, October 31: Tajikistan Begins Work On Massive Rogun Hydropower Plant

The Global Rundown

Tajikistan started preparations over the weekend to construct the world’s tallest dam, which will power the Rogun hydroelectric plant. Security experts in the United States warn that the country’s water infrastructure is vulnerable to cyberattacks. Political considerations may be hindering international funding to aid flood victims in North Korea. Zimbabwe’s largest cities are implementing water cuts in response to dwindling reservoir levels. Floating homes are a source of both promise and concern in London and other cities contending with climate change and housing shortages.

“Personally I’m most worried about the water industry.” –Jim Gillespie, the chief executive of Pittsburgh-based industrial technology company Gray Matter Systems, after being asked what infrastructure in the United States is most vulnerable to cyberattacks. Recent hacks in the United States targeted online websites and services, but they could portend future attacks on physical infrastructure, experts say. (The Wall Street Journal)

By The Numbers

25 percent Portion of a $15.38 million emergency appeal the Red Cross has received to respond to floods in North Korea, a shortfall the organization attributes to political concerns. Reuters

42 percent of capacity Average water level in dams across Zimbabwe due to a drought. As a result, the capital city, Harare, as well as the second largest city, Bulawayo, have cut water supplies. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

A London-based architecture firm estimates that 7,500 floating homes could be built in the city’s “bluespace” , which includes canals and marinas. Floating homes, in London and elsewhere, could boost resiliency to climate change and floods while providing much-needed living space for growing populations. However, some concerns have surfaced about their potential effect on river flows and ecosystems. Guardian

On The Radar

Tajikistan began work on the $3.9 billion Rogun hydropower plant project over the weekend, an endeavor that involves building the world’s tallest dam on the Vakhsh River. The project, however, has been opposed by Uzbekistan over fears that it could impede irrigation supplies and create flood hazards. Reuters