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WATER WORLD
Hydroelectric dams said source of greenhouse gas methane
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Jan 15, 2013


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Small hydroelectric dams, despite their "green" reputation, are creating "hotspots" of greenhouse gas emissions, a European researcher says.

The large reservoirs of water behind the world's 50,000 large dams are a known source of methane, Andreas Maeck of the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany said, coming from decaying organic matter in the sediments that accumulate behind them.

Methane is one of the greenhouse gases that trap heat near Earth's surface and contribute to global warming, but has a warming effect 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, another greenhouse gas.

Maeck and his colleagues decided to examine methane releases from the water impoundments behind smaller dams that store water less than 50 feet deep.

They analyzed methane release from water behind six small dams on a European river.

"Our results suggest that sedimentation-driven methane emissions from dammed river hot spot sites can potentially increase global freshwater emissions by up to 7 percent," they reported.

Such emissions are likely to increase due to a boom in dam construction fostered by the quest for new energy sources and water shortages, they said.

The study was reported in the American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science & Technology

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WATER WORLD
Malaysia tribe end protest as mega-dam floods their homes
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Dec 03, 2013
About 100 Malaysian tribespeople were forced to end a three-month blockade of a dam after rising waters threatened to flood their homes in Borneo, activists said Tuesday. The state-linked Sarawak Energy company began filling the reservoir in late September, a week after some 100 Penan natives from seven villages began a protest on the only road to the remote, $1.3 billion Murum dam in Sarawa ... read more


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