This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Let's Build Environment Friendly Dams Essay

2734 words - 11 pages


    A young boy- stands on the banks of a dried up river, a tear falling from his innocent face into the sand of the stream bed. He can't understand why a once mighty river has dried up. His father used to bring him camping along these wooded banks, canoeing down the rapids, and fishing in the clear waters. Eyes wandering to the huge mass of concrete which stands over the spot where his favorite waterfall used to crash over rocks, the boy can almost hear the roar of water which he loved to fall asleep to.

 

Back in town, many adults are happy about the building of the dam. The hydroelectric power is cheap, and the economy is booming. Tourists, coming to boat on the lake, have brought a great amount of money to town, and fresh produce from the irrigated fields is pouring into the grocery store. 'Life is better since the dam was built,' you can read in their eyes.

 

The debate over what to do about large hydroelectric dams has raged in the United States since 1935 and the construction of the Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River in Arizona. American Rivers (1989) finds that around 2000 hydro- dams are in operation and about 600,000 of 3.5 million miles, or almost 20 percent, of our rivers lie behind dams. It is uncontested by even the most vocal opponents that these dams, when properly utilized, can provide a wide variety of benefits to mankind, such as: reservoirs for times of drought, water for agricultural irrigation, recreational havens. and as sources for electrical power. As dams retain some two- thirds of our consumed water (Conservation Foundation, l984), irrigate farm lands worth in excess of 9 billion dollars, are visited by almost a billion people a year for recreation (Bureau of Reclamation, 1991), and provide about a tenth of the countries eleetrical power (Statistical Abstract, 1991), it is difficult to dispute these benefits. There are, of course, opponents who question dam poliey and the fact that only 9000 miles, or a quarter of one percent, of our rivers are protected by law (American Rivers, 1989). Progress for mankind always includes some costs; costs which these opponents of large dams feel are too great to justify the rewards. The controversy centers around this basic value argument: is the damage which large dams cause to the river's environment and recreational virtues worth the benefits which mankind receives for the dam?

 

Much of the publicity for dam opponents stems from thecreation of organizations sueh as American Rivers and Friends ofthe River. These increasingly professiorial organizations raisepublic awareness of river problems and lobby the government to halt dam projects. The primary souree on environmental damages caused by dams was written by Edward Goldsmith and NicholasHildyard, working for the Ecological Foundation. Other writers,such as Kyle Radigan, center their arguments around the problems of fishery depletion. Dam proponents agree that large dams may damage the environment, but...

Find Another Essay On Let's Build Environment-Friendly Dams

The Effects of Dam Building Essay

1582 words - 6 pages effects.1 The basic principles of dams still apply todayas they did before; a dam must prevent water from being passed. Since then,people have been continuing to build and perfect these structures, not knowingthe full intensity of their side effects. The hindering effects of dams onhumans and their environment heavily outweigh the beneficial ones. Theparagraphs below will prove that the construction and presence of dams alwayshas and will continue to

Groundwater Essay

681 words - 3 pages supply (World Commission on Dams, 2000). While dams provide a number of benefits, they do have negative consequences on river flow; they affect existing rights and access to water and have significant impacts on livelihoods and the environment. Decisions to build dams are increasingly being contested by many funding and environmental organizations. In spite of increasing concerns, dam construction continues in China, South America, and the Middle

China's Plan to Combat Climate Change

1416 words - 6 pages China uses a large amount of fossil fuels everyday, which leads to much of their pollution. This year, their air pollution spiked at the high 500s on China's government index, which is more than double of the 202 high in 2008 (Bettina Wassener, The New York Times). China is in the process of expanding their renewable resources by using the Gobi desert to build six wind farms, which is equal to 16 coal-burning plants, so that they are more

Three gorges dam

2309 words - 9 pages 1.0 Introduction This report examines the Three Gorge dam project and its impacts on the environment, the people it will effect and measures that can be taken as an alternative to the dam.I will discuss the Chinese government's reasoning for constructing the dam and the negative aspects of such a construction. Then I will explain the more environmentally friendly and logical alternatives.2.0 Background The concept of the Three Gorge dam is over

How dams affect salmon migration

2147 words - 9 pages that are rapidly decreasing. Long-term preservation goals can be overridden by a short-term drive for profit and jobs. Local politicians are always trying to get congress to give them money to build more dams. It's a tradition in this part of the world, one which has been repeatably successful: the waiting game of exploiters. On one side, are the environmentalists, who want to save the salmon runs. The other side, is filled with people in favor

Land Destruction

1595 words - 6 pages way the world goes round. This in return affects everything living. Dams are making the fish population to start to dwindle away. “…the dams were built without fish ladders, and they walled off so much spawning habitat that the whole fishery crashed within a few years.” (Reisner, 383) The amount concrete that it takes to build a dam is massive. They are built with huge walls of concrete that are tall and go deep in the water in order to keep

Mekong River

1205 words - 5 pages ideas are not as acceptable as not having a dam, but they are alternatives which are better than having one all season and not letting fish by the dam. These solutions for dams are real ideas that people could do. They would help the ecosystem of the lake and make the dam friendlier to the people and the environment. Another problem on the Mekong is the pollution that is happening. One solution that could be done is to not allow the use of

Hydroelectric Power Technology and its Effects on the Environment

1229 words - 5 pages introduced into new built dams in order to balance the aquatic environment. Furthermore, appropriate dam operation requires releasing water regularly so that downstream animals and plants can be protected. References List: Atkins, William (2003). "Hydroelectric Power". Water: Science and Issues 2: 187–191. CHINESE NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON LARGE DAMS. Accessed April 10, 2014. http://www.chincold.org.cn/dams/rootfiles/2010/07/20

hydroelectric energy

757 words - 4 pages , the rate of electricity can be changed by changing the speed of the water flow, the faster the water flows the more energy/electricity the greater amount of electricity you get. Hydroelectric power can be used throughput the world. Dams affect river ecosystems. Flooding a lot of areas and land that are natural environment is destroyed. High investment costs. It can destroy animal habitats. Hydroelectric power stations can cause major

Energy Resource Paper

1078 words - 5 pages it a very reliable resource. After it is built, it has very low operations and maintenance costs (wiseGeek, 2013). Although this hydropower is clean, it is not environmentally friendly. The placing of the dams that are needed to produce the electrical energy destroys the habitats around them. The location for these dams are also very hard to find. It does have cheap operations and maintence costs, but it is very expensive to build. Sometimes

Should the U.S. Invest in the Research and Use of Alternative Energies?

835 words - 4 pages wind turbines, solar panels, dams, etc. available they would need workers. These workers would be American citizens. The cash flow through the American people and businesses would bring the U.S. out of its suffering economy. This would also help keep the environment clean, save money, and benefit the U.S. and its people in general. This is a logical and beneficial solution, it should be in place today. The main argument against switching to

Similar Essays

Hydro Electric Dams Are An Environmental Disaster

1157 words - 5 pages Almost, everything runs with electricity, dams are what produce most of this electricity. Hydro-electric dams are very essential nowadays as they massively supply electricity to the world. Some people believe that hydro-electric dams are not environmentally friendly, hydro-electricity is produced by water. Canada is ranked second in the production of hydro-electricity (Hydroelectricity Energy), the hydro-electric dams produce 59% of Canada's

Hydro Electric Dams Are Not Eco Friendly Essay

1017 words - 5 pages material in reservoirs. These dams are contributing largely to global warming as the gases are polluting the atmosphere and increasing the earth's temperature. The hydro-electric dams create more greenhouse gases than what a fossil fuel plant would. In the end, these dams would increase global warming which makes them not very suitable for the environment. Hydro-electric dams are not a positive environmental source of generating energy because

Green Energy Essay

705 words - 3 pages turns, the rotor spins a shaft inside the nacelle (Spilsbury, Let's Discuss Energy Resources Wind Power 6). This shaft is connected to a gearbox with cogs inside that make a second shaft spin even faster, the second shaft turns a generator (Spilsbury, Let's Discuss Energy Resources Wind Power 6). Wind turbines are environment friendly; they do not use fuel or release any greenhouse gases. The turbines transform 2/3 of the energy in wind into

Environmental Impacts Of Reservoirs Essay

1121 words - 5 pages reservoir and is located in narrow valley areas where large amounts of water can be held in by the valley and a dam (Briney). Dams have to be built in a particular place, they can’t just be erected anywhere. You can’t just go out and build a dam; it takes a lot of planning and is very time consuming. “The best location for a dam in these types of reservoirs is where it can be built into the valley wall most effectively to form a water tight seal