The Effect of Dams on Human Population
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Own Article: Why dams cause more harm than good.

Dams have built for thousands of years.  Dams are barriers that run across a river or stream to control the flow of the water.It wasn't until midway through the 20th century in 1962 where large scale, concrete dams began being constructed.  The first major dam was the Jawa Dam in Jordan, as the most recent constructed dam was the Bujagali Dam in Kenya.  Dams are made for a number reasons:  Hydroelctric power, flood prevention, land reclamation, or changing the course of the water so you can build in a certain location.  

 

Dams have both there positives and their negatives.  Dams provide an efficient amount of hydroelectric power which is beneficial to people in nearby communities.  Another benefit of dams is that they help irrigation by redirecting water closer to farms, as well as providing reservoirs that can be used for irrigation, mining, and industry.  They can also be a place to store unwanted debris.  Hazardous material as well as mine tailings are sometimes stored in bodies of water created by a dam.  In my opinion, the most beneficial use of a dam is the redirecting of the water for recreational purposes.  This allows humans to occupy land that they couldn't before and is very useful.  

 

However, overtime the negatives from dams soon overrule the positives.  The first issue is that dams are very expensive and must be created flawlessly in order to be effective.  Dams can also cause an overflow of water in a certain area due to the redirecting of the water and cause the area that was once a useful dry land to become a useless wetland.  This also causes certain areas of the water flow to have the reverse effect and drain this certain area of the water, leaving thousands of fish and aquatic animals to have no access to water and end up dieing.  If i dam is built, then you will also need to build fish ladders to allow fish to move past the dam which are just an added cost.  Dams also cause the groundwater water tables to either raise or decrease which alters the enviornment in a negative manner. 

 

Although dams appear to be very useful and benefical, the negative impacts often outweigh the positives.  So watch your mouth, and don't be so quick to say dam-it!  (pun intended)

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Fish Ladder Image

Fish Ladder Image | The Effect of Dams on Human Population | Scoop.it

Fish ladders are created to allow migrating fish to travel around a dam. This particular fish ladder was made for the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.

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Belo Monte Dam Image

Belo Monte Dam Image | The Effect of Dams on Human Population | Scoop.it

This is Belo Monte Dam in Brazil on the Xingu River. The Dam is 90 meters high and 3,545 meters wide. As you can guess, it is going to have a huge impact on human population, such as people in nearby areas  having limited access to clean water. It also caused 20,000 people to be displaced from their homes.

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Stop the Belo Monte Monster Dam

Stop the Belo Monte Monster Dam | The Effect of Dams on Human Population | Scoop.it

The Belo Monte Dam is a brazillian dam on the Xingu River. The dam will cause a permanent drought on part of the river due to 80 % diversion from the river's original flow. To build the dam there was more earth removed than there was to build the Panama Canal. Also the dam has impacted human life because 20,000 pepole are being forced to move from their homes. One of the few positives of the dam is that 40,000 jobs will be created. Some of these projects give indigenous communities diseases from lack of food and dirty water.

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Human Impacts of Dams

Human Impacts of Dams | The Effect of Dams on Human Population | Scoop.it

Large dams have forced some 40-80 million people from their lands in the past six decades, according to the World Commision on Dams. This is huge downside to having dams. If its caused this many people to move we have to think, is it even worth it? Also people are losing access to clean water due to dams which in a long run cause disease. To help out the cause, people that have been affected by dams made a group and made a day dedicated for dam awareness. It is a day called the International Day of Action for Rivers. This is a global event to make other people realize that dams may not be the best idea because of its effects on humans.

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Environmental Impacts of Dams

Environmental Impacts of Dams | The Effect of Dams on Human Population | Scoop.it

Many fish have been decreasing in population due to the creation of more and more dams. This happens because water levels change in parts of the river causing fish to be trapped in small pools which eventually turns into no water and they die.  In places where the water has increased in depth, the underground water tables have become less available for plant roots.  This causes  issues in agriculture. Many fish populations are on the verge of extinction due to large dams.  This effects human population because we use fish and plants for food and oils. Therefore causing human population that rely on fish to be  diving into "shallow water."

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Graphic: Dams and Fish

Graphic: Dams and Fish | The Effect of Dams on Human Population | Scoop.it

This graph represents the amount of steelhead, of spiecies of fish, that remain in the near the Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River. The graph shows a decrease in fish once the river was damed. The dam was ubilt to generate electrical power but caused many fish migration problems.

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