Should Dams Be Removed? Essay

1057 Words Oct 22nd, 2015 null Page
Should Dams be Removed? Dams in the United States play very important roles in controlling the waterways and for transportation purposes, but is the destruction of the rivers and surrounding land worth it? Many of these dams do more harm than good to the rivers, and hundreds of dams in the United States are no longer even in use. Not only are they damaging the rivers, but these unused dams are also no longer providing any benefits for rivers or for human use. These unused dams should be removed and return the rivers to their natural state.
Along the water ways the U.S Army Corps has counted more than 80,000 dams over six feet tall throughout the country (American Rivers). Between 1950 and 1970 30,000 dams were placed (DamNation). The main focus was to build fast to produce mass amounts. Dams, while useful, cause severe damage to the rivers’ eco-system and the land surrounding it. Dams use hydropower to function but according to American Rivers, “Hydropower is the only renewable energy that drives species toward extinction” (American Rivers). Dams cause “hydraulic alterations” (Flow Regime) which has detrimental effects of the life within the river. The main reason for hydropower is that “flexibility and timing of water use is a primary reason for regulation rivers” (Flow Regime). Along with the problem caused by hydropower, dams were being built in mass quantities and illegally between the 1950’s – 1970’s. The law states that dams are supposed to have a designated area…

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