The Global Water Initiative (GWI) was an action-research and advocacy programme that ran from 2008-17. The project is now closed. This site is no longer being updated, but allows access to GWI outputs until 1 October 2020 when it will also close. After that date, information about the project and core GWI technical publications will continue to be available from the IIED website and Publications Library.
Drawing on the lessons from nearly 50 years of large dam construction in West Africa, we reviewed the literature and consulted stakeholders and governments to better inform the planning of future dams. This research focuses on six large dams in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal, and is particularly pertinent given that 39 new dams are planned in the coming years across West Africa. We argue that sharing the benefits of large dams is in everyone’s interests, and actually reduces costs, since it avoids expensive long-term disputes.