Energy at What Cost? - Dam Building in the Himalayas

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The Himalayas store a vast amount of water, and with their high slopes, the fast-moving rivers present a huge potential for generating hydropower. India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan have initiated massive plans to build several hundred dams.

Shripad Dharmadhikary, the author of the forthcoming International Rivers report on Dam Building in the Himalayas, has analyzed the new spree of dam building in the Himalayas and will present his findings at the Conference on Peace and Sustainable Development in South Asia, on December 1- 3 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The conference is organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute.

For more information on the conference visit
See below to download and abstract of Shripad Dharmadhikary’s presentation.

Best Western Hotel, Islamabad, Pakistan

Shripad Dharmadhikary reports: “India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan have growing needs of energy and electricity, and some of them suffer from severe shortages and even crises. Hydropower dams in the Himalayas are being advanced as a solution to meet a substantial part of these requirements. Yet, there is little evidence to establish that big dams are the only, the best or the optimal solution to the electricity question. In particular, while these projects will undoubtedly generate many thousands of units of electricity, it does not follow automatically that they will help improve access to power for the poor and the vulnerable sections of society.”