Water impoundment and reservoirs in the form of dams have been instrumental to the advance of civilization even long before knowledge about hydrology and hydromechanics directed their development. Human societies have depended on dams for irrigation, water supply, flood…
the environmental impacts of pollutive industries led to a widespread call for sustainable development which takes into account the environmental and social aspects of economic development; an offshoot is the requirement of environmental impact assessments for development projects deemed to cause substantial ecological impacts. Large dams were subjected to review particularly as dams inadvertently alter a stream’s morphology, and subsequently the surrounding landscape as well as its biota, which several studies contend. Large dams inundate a large area and the environmental repercussions redound to adjacent ecosystems.
An analysis of the environmental effects of dams as obtained by scientific studies is the objective of this report. Specifically, this paper proposes to assess the available research base on the environmental impacts of dams; the methods applied to obtain data on environmental effects; and the implications of the revealed impacts on dam development and management in the context of sustainable development. Data sources will include the review of selected publications on the positive and negative effects of dams on the geophysical environment and on the affected biota, and analyses of impact assessment studies.
This evaluation and studies of the same nature are significant, urgent, and timely because it is only recently that the full impacts of dams have been felt due to the compounding nature of such effects. Looking at this effects from various perspectives is also relevant because there are varied scopes a dam alters the environment – global, regional, and local. Especially where local impacts are considered, one dam’s effect does not necessarily mean the same effect on another owing to the differences in their biologic and geographic components.
Burke, M., Jorde, K., & Buffington, J.M. (2009). Application of a hierarchal framework for assessing environmental impacts of dam operation: Changes in streamflow, bed mobility, and ...
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