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What is a dam?

A dam is an engineering structure built to block a valley


or other low lying area for the purpose of storing water
(Hancock and Skinner, 2000).
How many?
From 1992 there was over 10 thousand dams worldwide.
About 500 dams are being creating every year, which
exceed 15metres in height. (Jiles and Spencer, 1995).

The main Advantages


Regulate water flow and Flood Control
Sediment Control
Drought Control
Time for endangered species to be moved
To another suitable location.
Irrigation
Navigation Improvement
Generation of hydro-electric power
Can be made to suit geology, can be placed in narrow and
Wide valleys. In rock or soil types.

60% of total stream flow is regulated by dams and


reservoirs for flood control (Jiles and Spencer, 1995).

This is due to flood peaks being reduced, and the


uniformity in base flow being increased throughout.

40% of rivers in Africa, Europe, North America were stabilized by dams.

Below is a map showing the Europe dams.

Map taken from


http//www.grid.unep.ch/product/publication/freshwater_Europe/images/eurodam.jpg

There is a reduction as the naturally eroding


Cliffs now have basal protection. (Less fluvial
Inputs).
Deposition location has changed, sediment
Is no longer built up in wetlands. Resulting in less
Erosion in drainage basins.

Dams are needed in places of permanent


Drought. To act as barriers to hold drinking
Water.

Looking at three Gorges Dam scheme in China.


What were its advantages?
Prevent flooding
Hydro-power electricity
Irrigation (agriculture)
Domestic use
Navigation

http://www.digitalglobe.com/images/qb/three_gorges_dam_july13_2003_dg.jpg

http://www.thirdworl
dcentre.org/aswpres
a.jpg

Advantages of the aswam dam:


Prevent flood and drought catastrophic conditions
For irrigation
4000km2s of dessert can now be used by farmers
Floodplain has been converted from 1 crop rotation
to 3 crop rotation.
Hydro-electricity.
Countries income has increased by 500 million per year
Since it was built.

Endangered species can be removed and put


Into a suitable habitat. This occurred with the
Species Percina tanasi (Snail darter minnow).
However the dam did not really affect the
Population as they were found naturally occurring
In a near by stream. This was at the site of
Tellico Dam on the Little Tennessee river in
Tennessee (Freeman, 1995).

http://bryonfreeman.com/v-web/gallery/albums/album15/res374114578.jpg

Transport on the River

Ferry transportation began in 1860s, they now use


barges
Economical

Consumer Benefits

Relieves rail congestion

The Pacific Northwest Barge Industry on the Columbia-Snake River


System by American Waterways Operation 1992-3
http://www.bluefish.org/pnbarge.htm

DAMS How important are they?

Provide

water
for transport

16 cents per bushel by


barge

32 cents per bushel


by rail (if
available)

http://www.saveourdams.com

92 cents per bushel


by truck

Provide Electricity for the community


Roll on Columbia By Beth Gibson http://members.aol.com/Gibson0817/river.htm

Columbia
Grand

and Snake River supply 63% of hydro electric energy

Coulee when built provided work after great depression

Brought

cheap electricity to the area

Helped

with the war effort


Later Industry moved to Pacific west because of
cheap energy supply

http://www.deniskingphoto.com/coulee_dam/coulee_dam3.html

Ecology Friendly

96%-98% pass safely through turbines

Dams and turbines are not huge blenders

Ecology Friendly

H:\COLUMBIA RIVER BASIN - DAMS AND SALMON.htm

Fish

Barges are a partial solution

A Commissioners Story

Les Wigen
Whitman County Commissioner

References

Anon, 1998 acessed at: http//www.grid.unep.ch/product/publication/freshwater_Europe/images/eurodam.jpg

Buchal James NG & 60 Min

http://www.saveourdams.com

Gibson Beth Roll on Columbia By


http://members.aol.com/Gibson0817/river.htm
Hancock and Skinner, 2000, The oxford companion to the earth. Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon
Street, Oxford.
Park, C., 1997, The environment, 29 West 35th Street, New York.
S Army Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division POC: Adele Merchant, Pacific Salmon Coordination, (503)
808-3722
Page Updated: Thursday September 05 2002
H:\COLUMBIA RIVER BASIN - DAMS AND SALMON.htm
http://www.deniskingphoto.com/coulee_dam/coulee_dam3.html
The Pacific Northwest Barge Industry on the Columbia-Snake River System by American Waterways Operation 1992-3
http://www.bluefish.org/pnbarge.htm
Spencer, T., and Jules, H. 1995, Coastal Problems, Oxford University Press Inc, 198 Madison Avenue, New York.