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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

"Deadbeat Dams", Down

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, April 11, 2016/Categories: wildlife conservation, sustainability, environment

                     Klamath Dam to be Removed by 2020 (credit: US Fish & Wildlife Service)

The 19th and 21st Century's saw almost all the rivers in the USA damed. Purposes varied from water storage, to hydro-power generation, expansion of agricultural, and for flood control. Environmental and social costs were ignored or unrecognized during the planning and construction of the dams and included losses of fisheries, recreation and native tribal uses, as well as natural ecosystem services like sand and silt deposition along coastal zones. These costs only became apparent in hindsight.

Some dams have now lost their cost advantage. New energy technologies have dropped in price; energy conservation and efficiency has expanded; wild rivers are widely utilized for recreation, and protection of wildlife habitat restoration is increasingly recognized. Now some of what have often been called "deadbeat dams" are coming down. The most recent to be announced was an agreement between California, the US Department of Interior, Native American tribes, and environmental advocates to restore the Klamath River in California to its free-flowing pre-dam status by removing four dams by 2020.


                              Dams in the Klamath River Basin (credit: US Fish & Wildlife Service)

American Rivers, an environemtal organization, praised the announcement and KOIN News in Oregon carried exerpts of the signing ceremonies here:

Hopefully, more such river declarations will soon be made elsewhere in the USA.



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