The environmental impacts of a new dam project on the Nile River in Sudan were not assessed properly. Such billion dollar projects should be evaluated independently in order to guarantee that their design and operation will be based on the best available scientific knowledge. This is the main conclusion in a recent report by researchers of Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology in Switzerland, on the Merowe Dam Project – a new impoundment upstream of the Aswan High Dam on the main branch of the Nile. The 67 m high dam will submerge the fourth cataract of the Nile and produce peak electricity for the major cities in Sudan. The construction of the $ 1.2 billion dam is managed by Lahmeyer International (Germany), Alstom (France) is supplying electro-mechanic equipment; and ABB (Switzerland) is building transmission substations.
In their independent review the Eawag researchers conclude that the Merowe dam will act as an important sediment sink and may accumulate as much as 130 Mio tons of sediment annually. An effective concept for managing this sediment load will be urgently needed to prolong the lifetime of the reservoir. Previous experience with the Aswan High Dam indicates that water quality in the reservoir and greenhouse gas emissions might become problems too if no adequate measures will be taken. The detrimental effects of the dam on the biodiversity of the fish community have been underestimated. Finally, the dramatic downstream water level fluctuations due to the daily peak operation of the power plant should be mitigated adequately in order to protect the riparian population, the sensitive river banks and their aquatic life.
In their general conclusions the Eawag experts call for improving the operational policies, when the environmental impacts of large dam projects are analyzed: Such important assessments should be based on the latest scientific insights, they should be reviewed by independent experts and be available to the general public.
Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas
19.07.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
NSF-supported researchers to present new results on hurricanes and other extreme events
19.07.2018 | National Science Foundation
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences