hydropower dam

Climate change dooms dams

Abstract: 

Freshwater resources, because of a host of human assaults, but especially because of dams, are the most degraded of the Earth's major ecosystems. Now the future of every dam on Earth is threatened-- not by environmental protests or economic constraints-- but by the Greenhouse Effect and the world's changing climate. Historical and geological evidence over past millennia indicate that even small changes in climate can cause major changes in the size of floods. Insurers increasingly are convinced that global warming is to blame for the greater frequency and severity of violent storms, floods and droughts since the late 1980s.
Hydrologists cannot predict exactly how much water will flow into a planned reservoir. To make a "best guess," they project past streamflow data into the future. Overestimates of average flows mean that many dams fail to yield as much power and water as predicted, the Buendia-Entrepenas reservoir in Spain is an example.
Sedimentation, despite over 60 years of research, still may be the most serious technical problem faced by the dam industry. In the US, large reservoirs lose storage capacity at an average rate of 0.2% per year, in China the rate is closer to 2.3%. Despite all the uncertainties surrounding reservoir sedimentation, authorities very rarely stop planned projects due to a lack of adequate sediment data.

Author(s): 

McCully , P.

Contact: 

McCully, Patrick, International Rivers Network

Notes: 

American Rivers produced abstract
unpublished paper

Category: 

An evaluation of the biolgical need for fishways at hydroelectric projects on the Oswego River, NY, with emphasis on the Oswego

Volume: 
Admin Report 97-01 22pp.
Year: 
1997
Abstract: 

This document is a review of literature regarding riverine fish movement, and an evaluation as to whether or not unrestricted passage would benefit fish populations within the Oswego River. Information presented within this report will be used to determine if providing effective (safe, timely, convenient) fishways at Oswego Falls and other hydroelectric projects on the Oswego River is biologically justified. Topics include: Physical and environmental development of the Oswego River; Oswego fish community; Oswego water quality; Biological need for fish passage; Riverine fish an long distance movements; Restriceted movement of fish within the Oswego River; Benefits of providing fish passage within the Oswego River.

Author(s): 

Fish and Wildlife service, U.S.

Contact: 

USFWS

Notes: 

American Rivers produced abstract

Category: