Tag Archives: Dams

Hydropower in Cambodia could threaten food security of region


February, 2018. Srekor village in Stung Treng, Cambodia, has now been fully submerged by the rising floodwaters of the Lower Sesan 2 Dam. According to local residents, the flood level in Srekor village has reached 6-7 meters since the dam commenced operations in November. Close to five thousand people, from indigenous Bunong, Lao and ethnic Khmer communities, have been resettled to make way for the dam’s reservoir. The village remains only in name. Captions and Photo source: ©© International Rivers

Excerpts;

Farmers and anglers in Cambodia depend on the Mekong River’s predictable seasonal patterns, but new dams for hydroelectricity are altering the hydrology of the river. These changes have the potential to threaten fish migration, livelihoods, and regional food security…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (05-31-2018)

Cambodian Village Now Fully Submerged by Lower Sesan 2 Dam; International Rivers (02-01-2018)

The Mekong, Dammed to Die; IPS News (11-14-2017)
In Laos, the lush forests are alive with the whines of drills that pierce the air. On the Mekong, a giant concrete wall rises slowly above the trees. The Don Sahong dam is a strong symbol, not only for a power-hungry Asia but also for what critics fear is a disaster in the making…

Don Sarong Dam, International Rivers
The construction of the Don Sahong Dam officially began in January 2016. Located in the Siphandone (Khone Falls) area of southern Laos, less than two kilometers upstream of the Laos-Cambodia border, the dam will block the main channel passable year-round by fish migrating between Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, threatening vital subsistence and commercial fisheries in the Lower Mekong Basin…

Life on Mekong Faces Threats As Major Dams Begin to Rise; Yale E360 (03-03-2014)

Dam projects on world’s largest rivers threaten ecosystems, rural livelihoods; Science Daily (01-08-2016)

Large Dams Just Aren’t Worth the Cost, The New York Times (10-25-2014)

Small Dams On Chinese River Harm Environment More Than Expected, study finds, NSF (05-30-2013)

Sediment Trapped Behind Dams Makes Them ‘Hot Spots’ for Greenhouse Gas Emissions, (08-01-2013)
The large reservoirs of water behind the world’s 50,000 large dams are a known source of methane. Methane has a warming effect 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. That knowledge led to questions about hydroelectric power’s image as a green and nonpolluting energy source…

New Global Warming Culprit: Dams (08-08-2012)

Dams – Cutting Off Beach Sand; By Gary Griggs (12-19-2014)

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media, and presented by Patagonia.

Movement to Take Down Thousands of Dams Goes Mainstream, National Geographic (01-29-2015)

Elwha, The Grand Experiment (11-12-2012)

A Balkan dam boom imperils Europe’s wildest rivers

elwha-dam-sediment
Sediment trapped, Elwha river. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The Balkan Peninsula, one of Europe’s most undeveloped regions, is facing a wave of thousands of hydroelectric projects that would block pristine, free-flowing rivers and cause major environmental damage. Local residents and conservationists are fighting back…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (05-08-2018)

Dam projects on world’s largest rivers threaten ecosystems, rural livelihoods; Science Daily (01-08-2016)

Large Dams Just Aren’t Worth the Cost, The New York Times (10-25-2014)

Small Dams On Chinese River Harm Environment More Than Expected, study finds, NSF (05-30-2013)

The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, A Video from Todd Southgate (05-26-2016)
Though large hydropower projects are often presented as a “clean and green” source of energy, nothing could be further from the truth…

Mega Dams Remain Controversial Source of Energy; IPS News (06-09-2016)

Undamming Rivers: A Chance For New Clean Energy Source; Yale E360 (08-07-2015)
Hydroelectric power is often touted as clean energy, but this claim is true only in the narrow sense of not causing air pollution. In many places, such as the U.S. East Coast, hydroelectric dams have damaged the ecological integrity of nearly every major river…

New Global Warming Culprit: Dams (08-08-2012)

Dams – Cutting Off Beach Sand; By Gary Griggs (12-19-2014)

Why the World’s Rivers Are Losing Sediment and Why It Matters; Yale E360 (06-20-2017)

Sediment Trapped Behind Dams Makes Them ‘Hot Spots’ for Greenhouse Gas Emissions, (08-01-2013)
The large reservoirs of water behind the world’s 50,000 large dams are a known source of methane. Methane has a warming effect 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. That knowledge led to questions about hydroelectric power’s image as a green and nonpolluting energy source…

Taking Down Dams and Letting the Fish Flow, The New York Times (10-24-2016)
Nationwide, dam removals are gaining traction. Four dams are slated for removal from the Klamath River alone in California and Oregon by 2020. And the lessons are the same everywhere: Unplug the rivers, and the fish will return…

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Movement to Take Down Thousands of Dams Goes Mainstream, National Geographic (01-29-2015)

Elwha, The Grand Experiment (11-12-2012)

Seafloor erosion now occurring like coastal land loss

mississippi-delta
A satellite image of the lower Mississippi River (winding dark line) shows that south of New Orleans (white, at center) the wetlands (green) are severely tattered, allowing hurricanes and other storms to push surges of water from the surrounding Gulf of Mexico right into the city, largely unimpeded. Image source: USGS – NASA.

Excerpts;

Scientists have discovered that the seafloor from the Mississippi River Delta to the Gulf of Mexico is eroding like the land loss that is occurring on the Louisiana coast.

During the 20th century, thousands of dams were built on Mississippi River tributaries stopping the flow of fine silt, clay and other sediment from reaching the delta and seafloor to offset erosion.

Without this sediment, land – in the form of wetlands and the seafloor – is lost, which threatens offshore and inland infrastructure in the face of waves, hurricanes and surge, or flooding, from storms. Land loss also affects marine plants and animals as well as how pollution is absorbed and broken down. In this new comprehensive study, scientists have mapped the retreat of the seafloor from the Mississippi River Delta into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time. This research was published recently in the journal Marine Geology…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (04-03-2018)

Human-Engineered Changes on Mississippi River Increased Extreme Floods; WHOI (04-04-2018)

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Undamming Rivers: A Chance For New Clean Energy Source; Yale E360 (08-07-2015)
Hydroelectric power is often touted as clean energy, but this claim is true only in the narrow sense of not causing air pollution. In many places, such as the U.S. East Coast, hydroelectric dams have damaged the ecological integrity of nearly every major river…

The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, A Video from Todd Southgate (05-26-2016)
Though large hydropower projects are often presented as a “clean and green” source of energy, nothing could be further from the truth…

The Mekong, Dammed to Die


Construction of the Don Sarong Dam. Captions and Photo source: ©© International Rivers

Excerpts;

In Laos, the lush forests are alive with the whines of drills that pierce the air. On the Mekong, a giant concrete wall rises slowly above the trees. The Don Sahong dam is a strong symbol, not only for a power-hungry Asia but also for what critics fear is a disaster in the making…

Read Full Article, IPS News (11-14-2017)

Don Sarong Dam, International Rivers
The construction of the Don Sahong Dam officially began in January 2016. Located in the Siphandone (Khone Falls) area of southern Laos, less than two kilometers upstream of the Laos-Cambodia border, the dam will block the main channel passable year-round by fish migrating between Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, threatening vital subsistence and commercial fisheries in the Lower Mekong Basin…

Life on Mekong Faces Threats As Major Dams Begin to Rise; Yale E360 (03-03-2014)

Dam projects on world’s largest rivers threaten ecosystems, rural livelihoods; Science Daily (01-08-2016)

Large Dams Just Aren’t Worth the Cost, The New York Times (10-25-2014)

Small Dams On Chinese River Harm Environment More Than Expected, study finds, NSF (05-30-2013)

Sediment Trapped Behind Dams Makes Them ‘Hot Spots’ for Greenhouse Gas Emissions, (08-01-2013)
The large reservoirs of water behind the world’s 50,000 large dams are a known source of methane. Methane has a warming effect 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. That knowledge led to questions about hydroelectric power’s image as a green and nonpolluting energy source…

New Global Warming Culprit: Dams (08-08-2012)

Dams – Cutting Off Beach Sand; By Gary Griggs (12-19-2014)

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media, and presented by Patagonia.

Movement to Take Down Thousands of Dams Goes Mainstream, National Geographic (01-29-2015)

Elwha, The Grand Experiment (11-12-2012)

How a useless dam nearly destroyed an iconic beach; CA

elwha-dam
Elwha Dam removal, 2011. The largest dam-removal project in U.S. history—the Elwha River Restoration Project—commenced during the second week of September 2011, when National Park Service contractors began to dismantle two dams on the Elwha River in Washington State. The 32-m-tall Elwha Dam and the 64-m-tall Glines Canyon Dam, completed in 1913 and 1927, respectively, have been blocking the natural supply of sediment to the lower river and coast and severely limiting salmon and steelhead spawning for nearly a century. Captions: Jonathan A. Warrick / USGS. Photograph: © SAF

Excerpts;

Surfers’ Point appears to be a rare natural California oceanfront. But looks deceive.

The beach is man-made. It was built the length of five football fields with an 8-foot-thick layer of cobblestones topped with enough imported sand to fill nearly 2,000 dump trucks.

The city of Ventura and environmental groups like the Surfrider Foundation launched the $4 million beach-building project when the coastline eroded in the early 1990s because the Ventura River was no longer bringing enough sand and sediment to nourish the beach.

The sand thief was 16 miles upstream: Matilija Dam…

Read Full Article; E & E News (08-23-2017)

Dams – Cutting off our Beach Sand; By Gary Griggs (12-19-2014)

Elwha, The Grand Experiment (11-12-2012)

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Sediment Trapped Behind Dams Makes Them ‘Hot Spots’ for Greenhouse Gas Emissions (08-2013)

Undamming Rivers: A Chance For New Clean Energy Source; Yale E360 (08-07-2015)
Hydroelectric power is often touted as clean energy, but this claim is true only in the narrow sense of not causing air pollution. In many places, such as the U.S. East Coast, hydroelectric dams have damaged the ecological integrity of nearly every major river…

The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, A Video from Todd Southgate (05-26-2016)
Though large hydropower projects are often presented as a “clean and green” source of energy, nothing could be further from the truth…

Let’s Talk About Sand: “Sand Wars” Film Director Denis Delestrac, At TEDxBarcelona (©-2013)

Beach replenishment may have far reaching impacts on ecosystems;” Phys.Org (03-29-2016)
UC San Diego biologists who examined the biological impact of replenishing eroded beaches with offshore sand found that such beach replenishment efforts could have long-term negative impacts on coastal ecosystems…

Study: Sand nourishment linked to fewer marine life, Palm Beach Daily News (04-2016)
A recent study examining the impact of beach nourishment projects on marine life should provoke further research by local scientists, according to a Palm Beach Atlantic University biologist…

Green group questions beach renourishment costs, environmental effects; Myrtle News (04-11-2016)

Why the World’s Rivers Are Losing Sediment and Why It Matters

elwha-dam
Elwha Dam removal, 2011. The largest dam-removal project in U.S. history—the Elwha River Restoration Project—commenced during the second week of September 2011, when National Park Service contractors began to dismantle two dams on the Elwha River in Washington State. The 32-m-tall Elwha Dam and the 64-m-tall Glines Canyon Dam, completed in 1913 and 1927, respectively, have been blocking the natural supply of sediment to the lower river and coast and severely limiting salmon and steelhead spawning for nearly a century. Captions: Jonathan A. Warrick / USGS. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

Vast amounts of river-borne sediment are trapped behind the world’s large dams, depriving areas downstream of material that is badly needed to build up the marshes and wetlands that act as a buffer against rising seas.

Scientists are now beginning to fully appreciate the life-giving effects of sediment, which some researchers. Now, as global warming steadily melts glaciers and polar ice sheets, quickening the pace of sea level rise, scientists say that a severe shortage of river-borne sediment — most of it trapped behind dams — will increasingly be felt along the world’s coasts…

Read Full Article, Yale E360 (06-20-2017)

Elwha, The Grand Experiment (11-12-2012)

Sediment Trapped Behind Dams Makes Them ‘Hot Spots’ for Greenhouse Gas Emissions (08-2013)

Taking Down Dams and Letting the Fish Flow, The New York Times (10-24-2016)
Nationwide, dam removals are gaining traction. Four dams are slated for removal from the Klamath River alone in California and Oregon by 2020. And the lessons are the same everywhere: Unplug the rivers, and the fish will return…

“River Reborn: Elwha Flows Wild and Free Once Again,” NBC News
A construction crew on Tuesday detonated a large charge of dynamite, destroying the last remaining portion of Glines Canyon Dam and hastening the restoration of the Elwha River in the far reaches of the Pacific Northwest.

1000 Dams Down and Counting: Dam Removal Study Reveals River Resiliency, USGS (05-02-2015)
More than 1,000 dams have been removed across the United States because of safety concerns, sediment buildup, inefficiency or having otherwise outlived usefulness. A paper published in Science Magazine finds that rivers are resilient and respond relatively quickly after a dam is removed…

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Undamming Rivers: A Chance For New Clean Energy Source; Yale E360 (08-07-2015)
Hydroelectric power is often touted as clean energy, but this claim is true only in the narrow sense of not causing air pollution. In many places, such as the U.S. East Coast, hydroelectric dams have damaged the ecological integrity of nearly every major river…

The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, A Video from Todd Southgate (05-26-2016)
Though large hydropower projects are often presented as a “clean and green” source of energy, nothing could be further from the truth…

Mega Dams Remain Controversial Source of Energy; IPS News (06-09-2016)

Dams – Cutting off our Beach Sand; By Gary Griggs (12-19-2014)

Let’s Talk About Sand: “Sand Wars” Film Director Denis Delestrac, At TEDxBarcelona (©-2013)

The Vanishing Nile: A Great River Faces a Multitude of Threats


Urbanized areas of northern Egypt are visible amidst the deserts of Egypt. The image also shows the Nile River which provides life-sustaining water to the region. Captions and Photo source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Excerpts;

The Nile River is under assault on two fronts – a massive dam under construction upstream in Ethiopia and rising sea levels leading to saltwater intrusion downstream.

Environmental degradation is often an underlying cause of international crises and Egypt could become the latest example, with its 95 million people the likely victims of a slow motion catastrophe brought on by grand-scale environmental mismanagement…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (04-06-2017)

Ethiopian Dam Deal Ignores Science, Warn Experts, SciDevNet (04-18-2015)

Nile Delta Disappearing Beneath the Sea; (01-29-2014)
The IPCC predicts a sea level rise of 28 to 98 centimetres by 2100. Even by the most conservative estimate, this would destroy 12.5 percent of Egypt’s cultivated areas and displace about eight million people, or nearly 10 percent of the population. But it is not just rising sea levels that threaten Egypt’s northern coast, the delta itself is sinking.

In Honduras, Defending Nature Is a Deadly Business

dam-hand
Belo Monte Dam.This photo is part of the AOS MONTES project. Captions and Photo source: ©© André Solnik

Excerpts;

Berta Cáceres fought to protect native lands in Honduras — and paid for it with her life. She is one of hundreds of victims of a disturbing global trend — the killings of environmental activists who try to block development projects.

Most believe it was that campaign, against the Agua Zarca dam on the Gualcarque River, that provided the motive for her murder, one of a rash of recent killings of environmental and social activists in Honduras.

Honduras, says the international human rights group Global Witness, is “the deadliest country in the world to defend the natural world.” At least 109 people have been killed for taking a stand against dams, mines, logging, and agricultural projects in Honduras since a military coup there in 2009 installed a new government.

Global Witness catalogues the killings of environmental and human rights campaigners around the world, and its latest report revealed that 2015 was the most dangerous year on record to be an environmental activist…

Read Full Article, Yale E360 (02-28-2017)

Stealing Turtle Eggs Got People Shot, But The Thievery Continues; National Geographic (12-08-2015)

Sea Turtle Eggs Have Turned Beach into a Battleground, ABC News (11-08-2015)

Indonesia: land right activists killed for protesting illegal sand mining; Protection Online (10-26-2015)
Legal and illegal mining has become a serious concern over the past five years in Indonesia. Such exploitation of natural resources has contributed to a number of human rights violations in Indonesia, such as murder, torture, attacks, illegal detention, land grabbing and forced eviction…

Activist’s action against illegal sand mining near Kihim beach, India; Mumbai Mirror (05-18-2016)
Activist Sumaira Abdulali, who has been threatened and attacked several times for raising the issue of sand mining, continues to raise awareness on the subject, to the local authorities…

Environmental activism gains a foothold in China; Guardian UK (08-31-2012)
Protesters have pushed green issues on to the state agenda, despite a predictably heavy-handed response…

The victory at Standing Rock could mark a turning point; Guardian UK (12-04-2016)
The defeat of an energy company by indigenous activists shows what nonviolent unity can accomplish. There are lessons here as we enter a challenging new age…

Mega Dams Remain Controversial Source of Energy; IPS News (06-09-2016)

The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, A Video from Todd Southgate (05-26-2016)
Though large hydropower projects are often presented as a “clean and green” source of energy, nothing could be further from the truth…

Dam projects on world’s largest rivers threaten ecosystems, rural livelihoods; Science Daily (01-08-2016)

12 Dams that Changed the World, Guardian UK (01-13-2015)

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Mass evacuation below Oroville Dam as officials frantically try to make repairs before new storms


Oroville dam spillway, 2012. Photo source: ©© Marcel Archon

Excerpts;

More than 100,000 people were told to evacuate because of a “hazardous situation” involving the Northern California dam’s emergency spillway. At one point, the NWS warned that the auxiliary spillway was expected to fail and could send an “uncontrolled release of flood waters from Lake Oroville…”

Read Full Article, LA Times (02-13-2017)

88,000 evacuated, emergency declared as California’s massive Oroville Dam threatens floods; The Washington Post (02-13-2017)
Even as they fled, however, the flow of water over the spillway halted late in the evening, stabilizing the crisis. But officials warned the damaged infrastructure could create further dangers as storms approach in the week.
Lake Oroville is one of California’s largest man-made lakes, with 3.5 million acre-feet of water and 167 miles of shoreline, and the 770-foot-tall Oroville Dam is the nation’s tallest, about 44 feet higher than the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River…