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Aug 24, 2013

The video above shows a time lapse video of a dam being removed, and the water rushing through the hole created by explosives.

The video above provides more information about the dam removal, why it was done and the results that are expected. "In late October, 2011, the White Salmon River in Washington state flowed again as the nearly 100-year-old Condit Dam was disabled. See never-before-seen video of the dam's lake draining, and find out how the end result is affecting habitat for salmon spawning. The event was a significant milestone for river restoration and dam removal."

What most people do not realize is that all dams are non-sustainable. What does this mean? A dam blocks all fish from passing, meaning salmon and other fish species that rely on the upper headwaters of rivers to spawn and lay their eggs can no longer get there to breed and reproduce. Dams by definition mean the extinction of whole species of fish. 

Before dams existed, millions of salmon would go up each of these rivers, sometimes multiple times a year. Indians tribes counted on these fish for food and to get them through the winter. The disappearance of millions of migrating fish also meant the end of a way of life for Indian tribes (and in many cases their cultural extinction), because they could no longer count on this sustainable source of food and nutrition.

Dams also block all nutrient flow downstream, by blocking the silt and sediment flow that a river normally carries both in normal years and in flood years. As the video above showed, huge amounts of sediment had filled up the area behind the dam, making it useless and worthless. Eventually, every dam will fill up with silt and sediment; it is only a matter of when it will happen, not if. All dams will eventually have to be removed, no matter what. This should be part of the planning and cost forecast, because it WILL be required. 

Dams are often built to generate electricity. This is fine and useful, but what happens when the dam can no longer serve this purpose because silt and sediment have filled up the area behind the dam? Now the dam is useless for generating power. Rivers are useful for generating 100% carbon free power, but to be a sustainable source of power, the power generation facilities should be designed to be a bypass method instead of a dam method. 

Finally, a dam is often built for flood control. But when the dam eventually fills up with sediment, it can no longer slow down or prevent a flood. So eventually, the reason why a dam was built in the first place becomes a liability instead of a help. This fact should be considered before building a dam that blocks floods, which renew the soil with mineral rich silt. By blocking floods and building on floodplains, an unsustainable situation is created, with potentially disastrous consequences.  

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Posted: Saturday August 24, 2013, 12:08 am
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Good H.
male , single, 1 child
Santa Rosa, CA, USA
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