Jun 5th, 2009
No surprise here: Brazil has approved the environmental permit for the Jirau Dam on the Madeira River, the Amazon’s largest tributary. Along with the planned San Antonio Dam, the Jirau forms the 6,450 MW Madeira River Hydroelectric Complex. This complex is intended to supply power for mining, metal processing and agriculture, and to ease river navigation for the goal of regional integration (IIRSA).
Also, plans are proceeding for three other hydropower dams on the Tapajós river — São Luiz do Tapajós (6133 MW), Jatobá (2338 MW) and Chocorão (3336 MW) — and four on its tributary, the Jamanxim: Cachoeira do Caí (802 MW), Jamanxim (881 MW), Cachoeira dos Patos (528 MW), and Jardim do Ouro (227 MW). Like any such dams, they would destroy critical habitat and displace people from their homes. At least two of the dams are planned to be built in or affect indigenous communities.