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News Several Japanese cities constructed dams that were never used

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Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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According to data obtained from a series of information disclosure requests made to public authorities by Asahi Shimbun, 11 of the 71 water utilities that participated in government-led dam-construction projects to secure stable local water supplies have never actually collected any water from the dams. The 11 water operators in question paid 57.6 billion JPY (432 million USD) to build the dams and expend around 200 million JPY annual costs to maintain and manage them.

Experts said it is attributable to long-term trends, including Japan's decreasing population and water-conservation practices becoming more widespread. The city of Hiroshima, which boasts a population of about 1.2 million people, was among the locales that built dams but never drew water from them. [...] These 11 water supply operators have paid out annual maintenance and management costs--despite never using the water--to the tune of anywhere from several hundred thousand yen to upwards of 100 million yen, according to the survey. [...] Ministry officials forecast that by 2040, water usage will drop to 30 per cent less than what it was in 2000. That estimate is based on expectations surrounding Japan's shrinking population and water conservation practices.

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