The environmental effects of a hydropower project, particularly one involving a dam and reservoir, are significant and must be taken into account when a project is under consideration. What is going to be submerged when a reservoir is created? What effect will the dam or barrage have on sedimentary flow in the river? What are the greenhouse gas implications? Who's interests are affected? All these issues must be addressed.
In order to make a case for such a project, a thorough environmental assessment will usually be necessary and in most cases it will be mandatory. Such a study should include proposals for the mitigation of any negative effects of the development. In many cases, particularly where international lending agencies are involved, a project will not be permitted to proceed unless the environmental assessment is favourable. This is equally true of public sector and private sector projects.
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