Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tajikistan's Dams

IWPR reports on Tajik plans to build a new dam for hydroelectric power along the Vakhsh River. This project is controversial because the Vakhsh is a tributary of the Amu Darya (Oxus River, for us medievalists), Central Asia's longest river, though one already suffering from over-exploitation. If Tajikistan goes ahead with these plans, it will almost certainly shrink the water supply to its largely desert neighbors, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Tajikistan, however, has plenty of reasons to go ahead anyway, as they face the prospect of being able to sell energy to neighbors such as Iran and Afghanistan, and in any case feels that given the fact nations which produce oil and natural gas aren't afraid to wield that as a rare commodity, they should feel free to treat water the same way.

UPDATE: There's now a further thought over at American Footprints.


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