By Beth Main
China has given consent for three more massive hydroelectric dams to be built on the Brahmaputa, the trans-boundary river shared by China, India and Bangladesh. Environmental groups and the Indian government previously attacked the plans over concerns that dams would affect downstream water flow in India. Nevertheless, China’s State Council approved the project on January 23 as part of a new energy strategy for 2015.
The dams are gonna be biiig, according to the Hindu:
A 640 MW dam will be built in Dagu, which lies 18 km upstream of Zangmu. Another 320 MW dam will be built at Jiacha, also on the middle reaches of the Brahmaputura downstream of Zangmu. A third dam will be built at Jiexu, 11 km upstream of Zangmu. The capacity of the Jiexu dam is, as yet, unconfirmed.
As we know, China likes dams. The world famous Three Gorges Dam has been running at full capacity since 2010, and only last year Nepal said China could build a dam for them. However, Chinese built dams in Burma, which would have sent the majority of the electricity produced to Yunnan province, caused conflict, both with local groups and the Burmese government, contributing to that country’s pivot away from China towards rapprochement with the west.
The Yarlung Zangbo as it is called in China, originates in the Angsi Glacier in Tibet and runs through the Himalayas to India.