Third World Centre for Water Management


Dams: Cornucopia or Disaster?

The current debate on dams has become dogmatic, sometimes emotional, and counterproductive. There is no single solution which could be valid for a heterogeneous world, in which there is a great variety of climatic, physical, social, economic and environmental conditions, as well as institutional, technical and management capacities. There are also differing institutional and legal frameworks for managing water, and levels of development and available technology. A systematic approach is needed, where the main objectives of water developments are first identified. Solutions should then be case-specific, and these could vary from one location to another, or even at the same location over time.

Asit K. Biswas, 2004, “Dams: Cornucopia or Disaster?”, Hydropower and Dams, Volume 11, Issue 6, pages 93-98. 

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