Types and Degrees of Dam Decommissioning

Dam Almost Exploding
by Ercan Ayboga Dam Almost Exploding Dam removal (full decommissioning) may be the most direct and effective method for eliminating the negative effects of dams on the structure and function of river ecosystems, but it is only one of several dam management alternatives. Depending on the particular dam, these options may include no action, structural repair, dam removal, partial dam removal or changes to dam operations [according American Society of Civil Engineers, 1997]. Full Decommissioning / Removal The removal of a dam re-establishes fully the free flowing conditions in a river b

River Revival Bulletin

Saint-Etienne-du-Vigan Dam, Upper Allier River, France, June 1998
Saint-Etienne-du-Vigan Dam, Upper Allier River, France, June 1998 The River Revival Bulletin was an electronic bulletin produced by International Rivers from 1998-2009, that summarized developments in dam decommissioning and river restoration around the world. All items are referenced with the source(s) where more detailed information can be obtained. If desired, complete source documentation may be obtained directly from International Rivers. Sign up to receive rare River Revival updates by e-mail. Please visit our Dam Removal page for more information about dam removal and river restoration

Reviving the World's Rivers

Thursday, February 1, 2001
Dam Removal For those of us now being saddled with the costs of years of unquestioned dam–building, it would be unconscionable to remain silent. – Dan Beard, Commissioner of the US Bureau of Reclamation (1993 – 1995) Once revered as temples of engineering prowess, dams are now viewed more critically. Dams devastate river ecosystems and undermine the rights and livelihoods of affected communities. Increased international recognition of the high environmental and social costs of dams, along with numerous river restoration successes, are inspiring dam removal campaigns worldwide. Numerous d

Restoring the Zambezi: Can Dams Play a Role?

Kariba Dam
Sunday, October 1, 2006
From World Rivers Review, October 2006 Kariba Dam The Zambezi River is one of southern Africa's most important lifelines, and its delta is a Ramsar "Wetland of International Importance." However, it is also one of Africa's most heavily dammed river systems, and its health is in decline. More than 30 large dams (including two of Africa's largest, Kariba and Cahora Bassa) constrict its flow of water and sediments, and more large dams are planned. A new dam, Mphanda Nkuwa in Mozambique, is farthest along, and is expected to result in a push for industrialization in the Zambezi Valley. Dam-indu

Dam Removal

A dam is not forever. Today, more communities than ever are considering the option of removing or modifying dams that have damaged local riverine ecosystems, outlived their usefulness, or become a safety hazard. However, there are a range of ways to restore a dammed river, from fully removing the structure to modifying its operation. Decommissioning of dams has primarily taken place in the US and Europe, but the trend is going worldwide, as climate change makes the safety of dams and the high cost of retrofitting them a serious argument for removal.


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