Europe’s rivers are damned by dams

MAVA Partner EuroNatur, together with its partner organisations Riverwatch, WWF and Geota, has commissioned a new study, which reveals the extent of hydropower frenzy all over Europe. The study is the first pan-European inventory of existing and planned hydropower plants and shows the immense pressure on rivers throughout the continent. In addition to the 21,387 existing hydropower plants, another 8,785 are planned, mainly in the Alps and the Balkans.

The largest number of hydropower plants – more than 3,000 – is planned to be constructed in the Balkans. Most of these rivers are still intact, some even untouched. They are a European treasure that we cannot afford to lose. We urge the European Union to address these developments in the accession negotiations and to insist on compliance with nature conservation legislation. In the Balkans, there is excessive investment in hydropower, while the potential for solar power – a truly renewable energy source – remains largely untapped,” says EuroNatur executive director Gabriel Schwaderer.

Hydropower dams destroy rivers and their surroundings, and they substantially contribute to biodiversity loss. They interrupt the natural flow of the river, block fish migration – affecting fish stocks and the survival of endangered species – and intercept sediments that protect river banks and deltas from flooding and rising sea levels. In addition local communities are literally being dried up.

Here you can download the FULL REPORT and the SUMMARY REPORT

Check out here for more information about the campaign „Save the Blue Heart of Europe

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