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The World Bank-financed Water Supply Augmentation Project – better known as the Bisri Dam project – is again stirring controversy following the publication of a new report by the Lebanon Eco Movement warning about the dangers of the 73-meter-high barrage.The government and the World Bank argue the project is necessary in order to provide desperately needed water supplies to the 1.6 million Beirut residents thanks to the plan to link the dam to the Greater Beirut Water Supply Project, a series of tunnels and pipelines bringing clean water to the capital that is also known as the Awali project.The World Bank has so far disbursed 13 percent of the $474 million loan agreed for the project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2024 .However, the World Bank said the Bisri Dam was designed in accordance with a seismic hazard assessment that mitigates the risks connected to tectonic phenomena.According to the preliminary design, the dam will have a storage capacity of 125 million cubic meters of water and will require approximately 6 million tons of building materials, with 20 percent coming from existing local commercial quarries, leading to significant financial gains for these businesses.
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