On 3-5 November 2006 the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies held a conference exploring Global Perspectives on Large Dams. Over 150 attendees heard 40 experts and a keynote address by former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt.
A large dam is classified as one that is at least 15 m (50 feet) high, as measured form the foundation. A dam that is between 5m and 15m high is classified as a large dam if its reservoir volume is greater than 3 million cubic meters (about 2,400 acre-feet). Using these definitons, there are about 45,000 large dams in the world.
Kara DiFrancesco and Kathryn Woodruff, two of the seven graduate students who organized the conference, assembled a report based on the conference. You can download a pdf here (if you are unable to download it, visit environment.yale.edu/publications and click on "Environment and Development").
I have the pleasure of knowing Kara - she was in the first group of three undergraduates I took to Honduras each summer from 2002 through 2004. Bright person with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences from UVA with minors in Economics and Systems Engineering.
Here is the introdctory material from the WWW site:
The multifaceted issues surrounding large dams are the source of immense debate among scholars, technical experts, social justice advocates, development professionals, politicians, and engineers. Though essential to development through the provision of water supply, hydropower production, river transport, and flood control, large dams can also have significant deleterious effects on the environment and social wellbeing. The Global Perspectives on Large Dams Conference held at Yale University, November 3-5, 2006, brought together some of the leading experts involved in this debate with the hope of furthering the discussion on large dams.
You can also order a paper copy if you prefer.
Here are downloadable copies of the Table of Contents, Executive Summary, Introduction, and Keynote Address.
"The difference between economists and political scientists is that economists assume people behave rationally. " -- Unknown