The Stream, December 14: Tanzania Plans $3bn Hydroelectric Plant in UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Global Rundown

Tanzania plans to build a $3 billion hydroelectric plant in the Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO world heritage site. Ethiopian officials announce that the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam won’t be completed until 2022. Tree removal could delay completion of a new hydroelectric dam in Brazil. The City Council of Phoenix, Arizona, vetoes a proposal to raise water rates despite looming drought. Rural Iraqi communities deal with the aftermath of Islamic State attacks, including destruction of water infrastructure.

“IS carried out deliberate, wanton destruction of Iraq’s rural environment.” –Richard Pearshouse, a senior crisis adviser at Amnesty International, in reference to the devastation of Iraqi countryside in recent years. The militant group scorched massive amounts of cropland and sabotaged water pumps and wells, making it difficult for displaced Iraqis to return home. Reuters

In context: Islamic State Occupation Wrecks Iraq Environment and Infrastructure.

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By The Numbers

$3 billion Cost of a planned hydroelectric plant in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve. A contract for the project, which will become “a major source of water” and generate “cheap electricity,” was announced on Wednesday by President John Magufuli. Environmentalists have raised concern that the ambitious project could imperil wildlife in the reserve, a UNESCO world heritage site. Reuters

$49.1 million Amount that a proposed water rate increase in the city of Phoenix, Arizona, would have garnered over the next two years. On Wednesday, the Phoenix City Council turned down the proposal in a 5-3 vote. The rate hike would have cost the average customer about $4.37 extra in 2019-2020, and been used to secure water supplies and infrastructure. Phoenix New Times

In context: Saving Water Lowered Rates in Two Arizona Cities.

Science, Studies, And Reports

Electricité de France SA and other members of a consortium are prepared to fill the reservoir behind a newly-constructed hydroelectric dam in Mato Grosso, Brazil, but the project may be delayed by up to a year if the state environment agency requires the company to clear all vegetation from the reservoir. State officials are considering claims by environmental groups, who say that vegetation will rot and pollute downstream water sources if left uncleared. Reuters

On The Radar

Kifle Hora, the construction manager of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, announced on Thursday that the project will not be completed until 2022 amid a series of delays. Hora cited possible defects in the hydroelectric equipment as the main reason for the holdup. Construction of the Nile dam has been fraught with controversy between Ethiopia and neighboring Egypt and Sudan. U.S. News & World Report

In context: HotSpots H2O, November 26: Delays and Disagreements Hinder Africa’s Largest Hydropower Dam.

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