As already indicated above, the construction of a major hydropower project will often affect the lives of a wide range of people. These people generally have rights over land that will be used or rights of water use. Under the principles outlined by the World Commission on Dams6 each group or individual with an interest should be consulted when such a project is proposed and the project should not normally proceed without agreement from all the parties.
The World Commission on Dams report also suggests that such considerations should be applied to existing dams. There are many cases around the world where groups have been affected by dam construction but were never properly consulted. That they should be considered now is an ambitious proposal which is unlikely to be welcomed by governments in many parts of the world.
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