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By the year 2000, the world had built more than 45,000 large dams to irrigate crops, generate power, control floods in wet times and store water in dry times. Yet, in the last century, large dams also disrupted the ecology of half the world's rivers, displaced tens of millions of people from their homes and left nations burdened with debt. Their impacts have inevitably generated growing controversy and conflicts. Resolving their role in meeting water and energy needs is vital for the future and illustrates the complex development challenges that face our societies.
The Report of the World Commission on Dams:
- is the product of an unprecedented global public policy effort to bring governments, the private sector and civil society together in one process
- provides the first comprehensive global and independent review of the performance and impacts of dams
- presents a new framework for water and energy resources development
- develops an agenda of seven strategic priorities with corresponding criteria and guidelines for future decision-making.
Challenging our assumptions, the Commission sets before us the hard, rigorous and clear-eyed evidence of exactly why nations decide to build dams and how dams can affect human, plant and animal life, for better or for worse. Dams and Development: A New Framework for Decision-Making is vital reading on the future of dams as well as the changing development context where new voices, choices and options leave little room for a business-as-usual scenario.
Chapter 1: Water Development and Large Dams
• Part I: The WCD Global Review of Large Dams—Chapter 2: Technical, Financial and Economic Performance
• Chapter 3: Ecosystems and Large Dams: Environmental Performance
• Chapter 4: People and Large Dams: Social Performance
• Chapter 5 Options for Water and Energy Resources Development
• Chapter 6: Decision-Making, Planning and Institutions
• Part II: The Way Forward - Chapter 7: Enhancing Human Development: Rights, Risks and Negotiated Outcomes
• Chapter 8: Strategic priorities—A new Policy Framework for the Development of Water and Energy Resources
• Chapter 9: Criteria and Guidelines—Applying the Strategic Priorities
• Chapter 10: Beyond the Commission- An Agenda for Change
• List of Tables
• List of Figures
• List of Boxes
• A Comment—Medha Patkar