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Unpublished Paper
DAM(N)ING THE NATURAL RESOURCES OF TRANSBOUNDARY RIVERS: ‘STATUS QUO BIAS’ IN POLICY MAKING AND TURKEY’S GAP DAMS
ExpressO (2007)
  • Itzchak E. Kornfeld, Georgetown University Law Center
Abstract
This article assesses the impact of mega-dams, like the Hoover Dam, on a number of rivers. It begins by looking at the rise of mega-dams in the American West during the 1930's. The analysis is prospective and looks at the damage to natural resources by dams along the Colorado River, the Hungry Horse and the Lower Monumental Dam and Reservoir in the Northwest U.S. as models. One then assess the change of heart about the building of dams in the U.S. and the effort to decommission them. I than investigate at 2 dams along the Senegal River, in Western Africa, and their ushering of poverty and disease in an area that previously was bustling. These dams are compared to the Aswan Dam in Egypt. Additionally, one also addresses the lack of equity regarding dams expressed by the UN's World Commission on Dams. One then turns to Turkey's GAP or Southeastern Anatolia Project, and asks, based on the evidence from the previous sections, if dams are detrimental why continue to build them? The answer appears to be no, and is rooted in a construct known as 'Status quo bias', which is a normative ideology in bureaucratic and administrative settings that refuses to change with the times, i.e. the thought is 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' and if it is broke leave it alone. Finally, the discussion then turns to the destruction of cultural artifacts by dams and examines Turkish and International Law in the GAP context. Finally, I offer some sustainable solutions, including wind and solar power, as options to the GAP's dams.
Keywords
  • Transboundary Rivers; Dams
Disciplines
Publication Date
July, 2007
Citation Information
Itzchak E. Kornfeld. "DAM(N)ING THE NATURAL RESOURCES OF TRANSBOUNDARY RIVERS: ‘STATUS QUO BIAS’ IN POLICY MAKING AND TURKEY’S GAP DAMS" ExpressO (2007)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/itzchak_kornfeld/1/