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Pakistani Kashmir turns to water to solve power crisis

As Pakistan grapples with a crippling energy crisis, people in one corner of Kashmir have taken matters into their own hands, using small-scale turbines to generate electricity from streams and rivers. Pakistan is plagued by power cuts, lasting up to 22 hours a day in the blistering summer in parts of the country, blighting ordinary people's lives and hampering the economy. Government moves to tackle the problem have so far yielded little success and have largely focused on moving from expensive imported oil to cheaper coal.

Crack found in dam in Washington state, authorities lower water levels

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A 65-foot-long (20-meter-long) crack has appeared along the base of a dam in Washington state, posing no danger to the public but prompting utility managers to lower water levels to assess needed repairs, a utility spokesman said. The 2-inch-wide (5-cm-wide) crack appeared in the spillway of the 8,320-feet-long (2535-meter-long) Wanapum Dam, a large hydroelectric power plant on the Columbia River that currently can generate more than 1,000 megawatts of power, the utility said late Friday.

Chinese criticize state firm behind Three Gorges dam over graft probe

By Li Hui and Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - A scathing report on corruption at the company that built China's $59-billion Three Gorges dam, the world's biggest hydropower scheme, has reignited public anger over a project funded through a special levy paid by all citizens. The report by the ruling Communist Party's anti-graft watchdog last week found that some officials at the Three Gorges Corporation, set up in 1993 to run the scheme, were guilty of nepotism, shady property deals and dodgy bidding procedures.

Ancient stone bridge revealed after Chinese lake dries up

A stone bridge dating back to the Ming dynasty has been discovered after water levels plunged at China's largest freshwater lake, a Beijing newspaper reported Friday. The remains of the 2,930-metre-long bridge, made entirely of granite and dating back nearly 400 years, appeared at Poyang lake in the central province of Jiangxi, the Beijing News reported. The lake, which has been as large as 4,500 square kilometres in the past, has been drying up in recent years due to a combination of low rainfall and the impact of the Three Gorges Dam, experts say.

Brazil's Vale revamps power generation investments

Brazil's mining giant Vale said Thursday it has agreed to sell about half of its stake in a consortium that runs the Belo Monte dam in the Amazon. A Vale statement said the transaction involves the creation of a joint venture with the Brazilian power company CEMIG. As part of the deal, Vale is to sell its nine percent stake in Norte Energia, the consortium in charge of construction of the controversial dam in northern Para state. The statement said two distinct companies were being created to hold projects and power generation assets.

"Tibet's Three Gorges Dam" starts generating electricity

LHASA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Pondo Water Control Project, the largest water control project in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, started generating electricity on Tuesday. Its first generating unit, with an annual electricity generation capacity of 150 million kilowatt hours, was put into operation at 11:50 a.m. Tuesday, said Tang Quanyong, deputy head of the project administration bureau. The other three generating units are expected to start operations in June 2014, said Tang.

China allocates 31.45 bln yuan for reservoir relocations

BEIJING, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese central government spent 31.45 billion yuan (5.12 billion U.S. dollars) between January and November on relocating people because of large or medium-sized reservoir constructions, a Ministry of Finance statement said Tuesday. A government policy entitles each relocated person to 600 yuan every year for 20 years. The policy came into force on July 1, 2006. The central government has so far pumped 147.07 billion yuan into supporting relocated people because of the construction of large or medium-sized reservoirs, the statement said.

Egypt farmers fear water supply threat from Ethiopia dam

With an economy already in tatters, Egypt's farmers fear the building of an upstream Nile dam in Ethiopia could lead to water shortages and crop failures with catastrophic effects on their livelihood. "We don't want this dam," says Saeed al-Simari, standing on his modest land in Egypt's fertile Nile Delta region. "We want to plant our land, we need water. It's hard enough with the water we have, imagine when we don't have anymore," said Simari. "We are very worried about our crops," he told AFP.

China's Gezhouba to build dams in Argentina worth $4.7 billion

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China Gezhouba Group Co Ltd <600068.SS>, known for building the country's Three Gorges Dam, said it would build two hydroelectric dams in Argentina worth $4.7 billion. The project, in which Gezhouba holds a 60 percent interest and Argentina's Electroingenieria SA the rest, will involve designing and building the dams in Patagonia and maintaining them for 15 years, Gezhouba said in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Friday.

Judge suspends construction of Brazilian dam in Amazon rainforest

SAO PAULO - A federal judge has suspended construction on a massive dam in the heart of Brazil's Amazon rain forest on grounds that environmental commitments have not been met. A federal court in Brasilia says in a statement posted Tuesday on its website that judge Antonio Souza Prudente also suspended the project's environmental license. The statement says work on the $11-billion, 11,000-megawatt Belo Monte Dam can only resume once the Norte Energia consortium that is building the dam honours the commitments.
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