Environmental impacts of dams and solutions

The dams are water barriers to store the water or impound the water on a specific location. The dams are basically built to store the water. These have different capacities and have different areas. Dams are a good source of water, it made my humans, very important for agriculture, but the negative environmental impacts of dams are also there.

These are not naturally produced but are built for a human to store the water for the days of starvation and to compete for the environmental changes but these have good as well as bad effects on the environment and biodiversity.

Because the dams do not occur naturally so these are man-made infrastructures. Basically, the dams are important for the human to do the deeds of progress and other benefits. But the dams have some bad effects on the environment. Let us discuss them in detail.

How dam can cause an impact on the environment

The dam’s history is very primitive. The otters are the only living organisms that built the dam to store the water for the food and other purposes of their lives. It is considered that the humans thought of the otters to construct the dam. The Greeks may be the first in history to build the dam.

The dams are basically hurdles in the way of water to store them creating some blockage in the way of the running water are done to stop it and store it on the desired level. So when the water is accumulated in a very large no then its releases slowly and stead for the purposes of irrigation and other usage.

Now a day’s dams are built in every country for the purposes of economic prosperity and for storing the water for the days of the draught.

These can also protect us from heavy water casualties like floods and also on those days when water is not available in the short days. These also act as energy and fuel provider. These have good as well as bad effects on the environment. Let us discuss them in detail.

Impacts of dams on the environment

Nowadays the economic prosperity of the countries is related to dams. Somehow these dams have good as well as bad effects for nature and for the biodiversity that relies on the dams. Dams are actually built on the ways of the rivers so their effect is very vast.

The fish affected mostly depends on the freshwater estuaries of the rivers but when we construct a dam then the fish cannot reproduce due to the lack of water hence the shortage of water leads them to new situations.

It’s a type of habitat loss of organisms. Because we know that many of the migratory fishes depend on freshwater when they come from the sea to lay eggs and for other purposes. similarly, many freshwater fishes go to the ocean for breeding and other purposes but when they hinder in a dam then a great loss to their population occurs.

So the local fish population is badly affected due to this negative effect.

And this not only disturbs the food chain from the predator to pray but also disturbs the whole food web. Hence a dam basically stops the steady flow of the water.  The dams of the freshwater also take the waste of the other materials or organisms but when we construct a dam then it means that the dam is also a pollution reservoir. The greenhouse effect also increases due to the dams because of this pollution that accumulates inside it and flows into the air due to evaporation.

The dams when broken cause a heavy flood for the neighboring environment and people. The dams create an artificial ecosystem of their own kind. This owns the type of ecosystem that may kill the many organisms which are not habituated to this kind of ornamental ecosystem.

In flowing water, no gas accumulates but in stagnant water, many of the gases accumulate and cause a severe greenhouse effect.

Hence the accumulation of the poisonous gases accumulated at the bottom of the dam due to the decomposition of the different organisms which die at the bottom. And the other factor is that many types of sediment are built into the dam which is the main cause of the new river delta and the situation.

Fish are aquatic animals that are also dependent on water for their entire life. These have some viral and bacterial diseases also these diseases spread from fishes to fishes. But when a diseased fish is present in a dam then it’s a critical danger for the whole population. While in flowing water this danger is less and in stagnant water it is higher.

And if fish dies due to a virus then it’s a permanent threat to the other fishes and the food chain related to fish.

Loss of Water and Dams

The water accumulated in the dam is evaporated on a very high scale than the flowing water. Berceuse we know that water has a great capacity to absorb the heat when it’s the surface area is high then the rate of evaporation increases at a high level. Hence it disturbs the normal environment.

And the water drain from the dam also increases the water table of the groundwater at an alarming level. Hence the dams destruct the fertility of that land.

Methods reduce the bad impacts of the dams

The rivers are veins of these planets. Many of the wild species depend on the rivers for their survival and maintenance while humans also depend on them for fuel and energy purposes. The wild animals are connected to each other in such a way that the extinction of one severely affects the extinction of the other.

The dams are a mix of blessings of God as these are only usable for humans not for the wild species so the environment is affected by them.

By adopting some measure we can reduce environmental hazards. We should lead a simple life and avoid the construction of large dams which stops the flow of the water. Instead of this, we should use small dams where the flow of the water is not affected.

And store water not for the future but only for the seasonal occasion. rivers every year it is estimated that carry two million tons of carbon dioxide to the ocean.

Hence the steady flow is necessary for the rivers so that this pollution should be dumped which only possible when there is no hurdle to the flowing water.

The smaller dams will have a low capacity for the storage of the water consequently the flow of the water will be not affected and hence it will cause a very low effect on the environment. The government and the United Nations should make the rules to stop this kind of environmental hazard.

[1]Impacts of Dams on the Environment: A Review (ijeab.com) [2]Microsoft Word – C1_610_814.doc (cvc.ca) [3]Environmental Impact Assessment of Dams and Reservoirs (eolss.net)

Reviewed by:
Dr. Muhammad Tahir Ph.D. (PU)
Post Doctorate

American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA

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