Environmental Impacts of Dams

In: Social Issues

Submitted By ttmprice
Words 1270
Pages 6
Environmental Impacts of Dams
By
Tania M. Brown
Instructor: Timothy Butcher
Environmental Site Assessment
10/27/2008

Throughout the past few years, the negative impacts of dams have become so well known that most countries have stopped building them altogether and are now forced to invest their money into fixing the problems created by existing dams. The environmental impacts of dams have come under renewed examination in recent years. Dam advocates have historically understood that dams largely improve the status of water-related energy and environmental issues by, for example, producing hydroelectric power and increasing the water supply for irrigation. The construction of large dams completely change the relationship of water and land, destroying the existing ecosystem balance which, in many cases, has taken thousands of years to create. Currently there are around 40,000 large dams which obstruct the world's rivers, completely changing their circulation systems: this is not going to occur without dire environmental impacts.
. Dam advocates have historically understood that dams largely improve the status of water-related energy and environmental issues by, for example, producing hydroelectric power and increasing the water supply for irrigation. The damming of a river creates a reservoir upstream from the dam. The reservoir waters spill out into the surrounding environments, flooding the natural habitats that existed before the dam’s construction. To date, over 400,000 km2 of the earth have been flooded due to damming. The newly created reservoir has more surface area than the river would have had, and therefore more evaporation occurs than is normal. According to Science Encyclopedia, Volume 2, this can lead to an increased loss of up to 2.1 m3 of water per year. According to recent studies, reservoirs contribute to greenhouse gas…...

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