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By Stephen Currie

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Even if hydropower plants can be built, moreover, getting power to populations in rural areas presents a challenge. To bring electricity to regions outside cities will require constructing power lines that extend deep into the wilderness.  . it lieve that many developing countries could disrupt the have no plans to do so. “Planners do lives of hundreds not have electricity for African vilof thousands of lagers in mind,” writes journalist Ulpeople who live rike Koltermann. “About 90 percent in the Omo Valley of Africans lack access to the power downstream of the grid, and the new dams will do little proposed project.

S. government implemented new requirements for building and operating hydroelectric plants to reduce the impact of these facilities on the environment. Some older plants, however, continue to operate under the older, less ecologically sensitive system. Facts and Illustrations • About 30 percent of electric company charges in the Pacific Northwest today pay for the power manufacturer’s costs of following environmental regulations, such as limiting the impact of hydroelectric dams on wildlife and monitoring the water quality of reservoirs.

Some older plants, however, continue to operate under the older, less ecologically sensitive system. Facts and Illustrations • About 30 percent of electric company charges in the Pacific Northwest today pay for the power manufacturer’s costs of following environmental regulations, such as limiting the impact of hydroelectric dams on wildlife and monitoring the water quality of reservoirs. • There is evidence that the volume of water in very large artificial reservoirs, such as those created by hydroelectric dams, can trigger earthquakes—with potentially serious environmental consequences even if the shaking does not destroy the dam.

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