Segments in this Video

Dam Building and Social Impact (05:48)


Traditional ways of thinking about waterpower may be obsolete. The Three Gorges Dam in China regulates the Yangtze to control floods. Social consequences of massive hydroelectric projects give rise to concern and protests.

Spain's National Hydrological Plan (03:28)

Taking resources from the poorest areas and redistributes them to richer areas, Spain's National Hydrological Plan for the Ebro River has real social consequences. Though many areas demand protection, Spain's government continues to plan other dams on the Ebro's tributaries.

Egypt's Mubarak Pumping Station (02:59)

The pumping station is designed to transfer water from the Nile, attempting to reclaim land parched for centuries. The project's economic and political values are disputed.

Lausitz Region: Restoring the Landscape (02:44)

Germany's dry, damaged countryside in the Lausitz region is restored by human and technological efforts to transfer water. The water fills craters left by previous opencast mining. The region will one day be covered with lakes.

Spain's Questionable Irrigation Projects (02:36)

A shellfish farmer complains about the effects that Spain's Hydrological Plan has on his sea farming. He argues that diverting water goes against nature. The dry southern areas of Spain and the resource-rich north are engaged in an ongoing battle for water.

Reclamation: Egypt's Toshka Project (02:23)

It is hoped that the Egypt's Toshka Project will reclaim desert lands and provide high-yield crops. Critics fear that the timing is poor for the Egyptian economy, as the project diverts valuable finances from other national projects.

Three Gorges Dam Project (02:16)

Citizens of Fengjie, China, paid a high price for the Three Gorges Dam Project. In 2002, a massive resettlement operation forced relocation of millions of people. Citizens complain of losing everything while corrupt officials line their pockets.

World Commission on Dams (02:51)

To avoid repeating past mistakes, the World Commission on Dams has developed criteria and principles for future large projects. This includes fair compensation for those affected. The Hetch Hetchy Dam is highly controversial as it destroys the natural beauty of Yosemite.

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Testing the Limits of Possibility: Massive Dams and Waterworks

Part of the Series : Thirsty Planet
DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



When it comes to water management, many politicians and technocrats have felt that colossal problems are only solved by colossal projects: dams. But blind faith in concrete can often have devastating effects on communities and the environment. This program examines the positive and negative impact, as well as the politics and economics of several ongoing or proposed projects: China’s Three Gorges Dam, Egypt’s Mubarak pumping station, pit-mine reclamation in Germany’s Lausitz region, and Spain’s controversial national hydrological plan for the Ebro river. (27 minutes)

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL33075

ISBN: 978-0-7365-8993-2

Copyright date: ©2003

Closed Captioned

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