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Dams ... suck. But what if they didn't so much?

May 6, 2015

Must all dams suck?

We like that dams are used for renewable energy. It's some of the least expensive power around.  You could argue that the Grand Coulee Dam dealt us the trump card in WWII. We like that dams can release water in such a manner as to control flooding, provide for irrigation, and even make for great kayaking. 

We don't like that dams block the natural flow of rivers, or the migration of fish. We don't like dams that are permanent pollution, or that many designs silt up so quickly that their very purpose is quickly negated and they need to be dynamited. We don't like that dams flood wildlife habitat. We can come up with more reasons to dislike dams. Many.

 

All dams and diversion projects have direct ecological impacts.  Every single one, by definition: a direct ecological impact is basically the stated intention of the project.

 

It's not easy to reconcile our shared need for cheap power and water storage projects with the parts of our DNA that scream to see all rivers run wild and free. 

But what if we took a different approach altogether?  What if we could create small kit-of-parts impoundments that were made partially from unwanted/recycled materials and were exceedingly inexpensive?  What if they contained fish-friendly turbines and left only tiny footprints after their useful service life had run its course?

 

Time to investigate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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