Silenced Rivers

Sedimentation Problems with Dams

Excerpt from Silenced Rivers: The Ecology and Politics of Large Dams, by Patrick McCully, Zed Books, London, 1996 All rivers contain sediments: a river, in effect, can be considered a body of flowing sediments as much as one of flowing water. When a river is stilled behind a dam, the sediments it contains sink to the bottom of the reservoir. The proportion of a river’s total sediment load captured by a dam – known as its "trap efficiency" – approaches 100 per cent for many projects, especially those with large reservoirs. As the sediments accumulate in the reservoir, so the da

Reservoir Emissions: Excerpt from Silenced Rivers

Wednesday, October 17, 2001
Excerpted from the new introduction of the updated 2001 edition of: Silenced Rivers: The Ecology and Politics of Large Dams It’s baloney and it’s much overblown . . . Methane is produced quite substantially in the rain forest and no one suggests cutting down the rain forest. Karolyn Wolf, spokeswoman for the US National Hydropower Association responding to International Rivers press release on greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs, 1995 It seems difficult for many people to accept that the seemingly serene surface of a reservoir could be belching forth as much heat
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