Reservoir and Sedimentation Assessment

1120 Words4 Pages
The 1960’s were considered the “golden age for dam construction” and contributed to thousands of dams being built across the United States. Dams are regualarly built to support recreational activities as well as hydroelectric power and water supply purposes but people recently have realized many of the negative impacts affiliated with them. Many are now 50 years old and due for relicensing which involves many tradeoffs for dam owners and public stakeholders to consider. Urbanization below such structures has brought up safety concerns from land owners and recognition of ecosystem degradation has flooded recent news and reports. Dam decommissioning is becoming more of a viable option for aging dams that are abandoned and have lost their economical use. Over 500 dams have been removed from US riverine systems since 2000 and 51 alone in 2013 (American Rivers, 2013).
Each dam considered for removal requires a cost-benefit analysis to determine the best possible objectives and plan for removal. Many social, ecological, and economical factors become part of the overall proposal. The fragmented rivers divide many biotic communities and restrict migration for different species and organisms. Many ecosystems suffer from poor water quality and sedimentation loss downstream from dams. The removal of these structures restores historic flow regimes and free flowing water that once existed in their natural and aesthetically pleasing states. This paper will look at
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