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Fossil Creek was a spring-fed waterway sustaining an oasis in the middle of the Arizona desert attracted sh and a host

of animals and plants that could not survive in other environments 1916 engineers had dammed Fossil Creek simply removing a dam does not automatically mean a long-altered ecosystem will ourish once more about 800,000 dams operate worldwide, 45,000 of which are large, or greater than 15 meters tall Hydroelectric power makes up 20 percent of the globes electric supply Dams control ooding, and their reservoirs provide a reliable supply of water for irrigation, drinking and recreation. Some serve to help navigation, by stabilizing ow The structures ruin vistas, trap sediments (needed for deltas, riverbanks and beaches), stymie migratory sh and destroy ecosystems in and around waterways In the U.S., where hydropower dams must be relicensed every 30 to 50 years, the rate of dam removal has exceeded the rate of construction for the past decade or so In most places where dams have been eliminated, the stories of the Kennebec and the Loire have been repeated (ecosystem recovery) People, in addition to ora and fauna, return to enjoy the rivers The release of sediments trapped behind a dams walls can choke waterways, muddying the environment and wiping out insects and algae, which are important food for sh This wave of turbidity can also eliminate habitat for sessile lter feeders, such as freshwater mussels Sometimes the mud that had been held back by the structures is rife with contaminants

Old, or aging, dams have been looked into by many different organizations and environmentalists, and have been opposed. The people who looked into these dams are encouraging the decommissioning of them, and have many reasons for it. They have found that dams may provide power and create an artificial lake, but these have consequences further down the rivers old paths. Dams have been found to stop the flow of the water by building up on the side of the dam that faces the upstream portion of the river. This lake has stagnant water, removing the rivers capability to filter out sediment by keeping it moving and placing it within the soil it passes on. Because of this, the sediment builds up in the water on one side of the dam, and this is a major source of pollution in the waters. There is also an accumulation and rising of water levels, forcing residents that lived near this part of the river to leave their homes. Possibly the worst consequence is the damage done to the ecosystems. Because there is no longer a constant flow of water, any organisms that were downstream from the dam would have died off, and the organisms within the water would either leave completely or some other organisms would take their place. This either removes or changes the organisms within the ecosystem, and it may not be recoverable. The decommissioning of dams may solve these problems, and in most cases it has, but it is not definite, and some unexpected results have occurred before. Dams produce large amounts of electricity by using hydroelectric power, but it comes with a cost. Old, or aging, dams have been found to produce more problems than the benefits. The dams have shown that they have damaged ecosystems, caused water pollution, and that these consequences could be irreversible. The old dams have shown that they cause a sediment buildup that creates a form of pollution called turbidity, which could adversely affect the oxygen supply in the water. The dams have also displaced homes and people with the rising water levels cover large amounts of land that had been

previously used. Lastly, they have removed organisms from ecosystems, and researchers and environmentalists are unsure whether or not these effects can be reversed to fix the ecosystems. I believe that this problem could be solved with a joint effort from society. If we point out these issues enough, dams may be either removed when they pass a certain lifetime, or otherwise completely banned from use. So What? This information is important because it shows a hidden issue found from dams What if? If this had not been published, people would not have known how dams actually can hurt the environment Says Who? This was shown by researchers and environmentalists already dealing with or solving these problems What Does This Remind Me of? This reminds me of the eutrophication article because they both sounded as though they could help in many ways, but turned out to be the oppposite