Dams Threaten Future Water Supplies

Humanity has over-engineered the world's hydrology through dam-building, writes Rachel Olivieri.
September 20, 2008, 11am PDT | Michael Dudley
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"Between 1950 and 1970, three new dam projects were started every single day in the world. Today, primarily in China, Turkey, Brazil, Japan and India, one new dam project begins daily with an average completion date of four years. Fifteen hundred dams are currently under construction worldwide.

The National Inventory on Dams shows the United States has constructed 79,000 dams large enough to require state and federal monitoring. These higher risk categories are often located near enough to population centers to pose a direct safety risk to human life and property. Worldwide, there are 800,000 similarly sized dams that are regulated and present equal challenges.

What will it cost to maintain, repair, upgrade, and build new dams to replace those that fail or are decommissioned, and restore dysfunctional watersheds impacted by dams?"

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Published on Friday, September 19, 2008 in AlterNet
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