Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















WATER WORLD
Mass evacuation as rain strains tallest US dam
By Josh Edelson
Oroville, United States (AFP) Feb 14, 2017


Ethiopia dam causes Kenya water shortage: rights group
Addis Ababa (AFP) Feb 14, 2017 - A huge newly-built Ethiopian dam is cutting off the supply of water to Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, rights group Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.

The Gibe III dam, along with a network of sugar plantations, has caused the depth of Lake Turkana to drop by 1.5 meters from its previous levels since the dam's reservoir began filling in 2015, according to a HRW report.

In one part of Turkana, the world's largest desert lake, the shore has receded by nearly two kilometres, threatening the livelihoods of fishing communities.

"Ethiopia is in such a rush to develop its resources that these downstream individuals, who are completely marginalised, just aren't part of the equation," said Felix Horne, a HRW researcher.

Built at a cost of 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion), Gibe III is the third-most powerful dam in Africa and the highest, at 243 meters (800 feet) in height.

The dam, which has already caused some controversy, is expected to double the electricity output of Ethiopia.

The country was the continent's fastest-growing economy in 2015, but GDP is expected to take a hit due to a series of anti-government protests that targeted foreign businesses, and to an ongoing drought.

Environmentalists and the UN cultural body UNESCO have condemned Gibe III, saying they fear the dam will staunch the Omo River, which provides 80 percent of the water flow into Lake Turkana.

HRW has also criticised Ethiopia's government for uprooting people along the river to make way for sugar plantations.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn dismissed criticism of the dam in a speech inaugurating the project, saying Gibe III satisfied Ethiopia's power demands and allowed it to export electricity.

Ethiopia also plans 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) of sugar plantation in the Omo River valley, along with factories to process the cane.

Tens of thousands of hectares have already been cleared, but Horne says the development should be reduced to preserve Lake Turkana's water level.

"I think the most important thing by far is that the sugar plantations, which are very water-intensive, that those be cut back," Horne said.

At Turkana, communal clashes have broken out over access to scarce water supplies.

Should the lake drop further, Horne worries conflict will intensify.

Almost 200,000 people were under evacuation orders in northern California on Monday after a threat of catastrophic failure at the tallest dam in the United States.

Officials said the danger had subsided for the moment as water levels at the Oroville Dam, 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Sacramento, had eased. But people were still being told to stay away.

Several weeks of heavy rain filled the 770-foot (235-meter) high dam to capacity.

The threat comes not from the dam itself, which the California Department of Water Resources said was not in danger of collapse, but an emergency spillway that channels excess water.

A giant hole opened in the dam's main spillway last week, forcing the authorities to activate the emergency overflow channel on Saturday for the first time.

But it began eroding, threatening a rupture that would have sent water surging toward the valley below, media reported.

the authorities released 100,000 cubic feet of water per second from the main spillway, bringing down the level of the reservoir Sunday, the Sacramento Bee newspaper said, quoting the water department.

The paper reported that advocacy groups had warned in 2005 that the spillway posed a danger in the event of major flooding and had recommended to the federal government that it be reinforced.

Department head Bill Croyle told a news conference near the danger zone that he was unaware of the advice, but pledged that engineers would analyze what went wrong once the crisis was over, the paper said.

The department did not respond to a request for comment on the report.

Helicopters readied overnight to drop rocks into eroded areas in the emergency spillway ahead of rain forecast for Wednesday and Thursday that could fill the reservoir again.

The California National Guard said on Facebook that it had alerted its 23,000 members to be ready to deploy.

- Military on standby -

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a news conference on Sunday that no more water was seeping over the spillway, adding: "We're not at the point yet where we can make decisions about whether or not it is safe to repopulate areas."

Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis told reporters on Monday the federal military was ready, if needed, to provide air transport, water rescue, medical care and shelter.

Some 188,000 people in downstream communities were told to leave on Sunday afternoon as water was still gushing over the top of the wide auxiliary spillway.

Officials in Butte County and Yuba issued "immediate evacuation" orders of low-lying area, with the Butte County Sheriff's department warning of a developing "hazardous situation."

"All Yuba County on the valley floor," the Yuba County Office of Emergency Services said in a Facebook post.

"The auxiliary spillway is close to failing... Take only routes to the east, south, or west. DO NOT TRAVEL NORTH TOWARD OROVILLE!!!!!"

Water from the dam flows down the Feather River that runs through Oroville, a city of about 20,000 people.

"It's clear the circumstances are complex and rapidly changing. The state is directing all necessary personnel and resources to deal with this very serious situation," Governor Jerry Brown said in a statement.

The Oroville Dam has been in use since 1968. Less famous than America's iconic Hoover Dam near Las Vegas, Oroville is still the tallest.

bur-ft/jm/grf

Facebook


Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

.


Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
WATER WORLD
Mass evacuation as rain strains tallest US dam
Oroville, United States (AFP) Feb 13, 2017
Almost 200,000 people were under evacuation orders in northern California Monday after a threat of catastrophic failure at the United States' tallest dam. Officials said the danger had subsided for the moment as water levels at the Oroville Dam, 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of San Francisco, had eased. But people were still being told to stay away. Several weeks of heavy rain had fill ... read more


WATER WORLD
Myanmar jade mine landslide kills 9: official

Justice for victims of Nepal's civil war slips away

Six cosmic catastrophes that could wipe out life on Earth

Facebook adds tool for helping in times of crisis

WATER WORLD
A new sensitive and stable self-powered photodetector

New material that contracts when heated holds great industrial potential

Aavid Thermacore Europe's technology will keep solar satellite cool

Flipping the switch on ammonia production

WATER WORLD
RE2 Robotics to further develop EOD underwater manipulator system

Litter is piling up on the Arctic sea floor

Study: Deep-sea mining causes long-lasting ecological damage

Splitfin flashlight fish uses bioluminescent light to illuminate plankton

WATER WORLD
Climate change adds to pressures on endangered African penguins

Hidden lakes drain below West Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier

NASA, UCI Reveal New Details of Greenland Ice Loss

Study shows planet's atmospheric oxygen rose through glaciers

WATER WORLD
China villagers 'beat the Buddha' for a good harvest

Sticky gels turn insect-sized drones into artificial pollinators

Endangered species listing for bumble bee delayed by Trump admin

Grow, mow, mulch: Finding lawn's value

WATER WORLD
Pacific rim countries to test their tsunami warning system

6 dead after strong quake shakes southern Philippines

Rumbling Indonesian volcano in fresh eruption

Aftershocks rock Philippine quake city survivors

WATER WORLD
I. Coast govt pursues bid to end mutiny by elite troops

Ivory Coast arrests six journalists over mutiny 'false information'

Ivory Coast govt in bid to end elite troops' mutiny

Somalia to elect president amid security, drought woes

WATER WORLD
Paleolithic people 'killed' pebbles to rid them of their symbolic power

Chimpanzee feet allow scientists a new grasp on human foot evolution

Humans subconsciously perceive words as 'round' or 'sharp'

Baltic hunter-gatherers began farming without influence of migration




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement