Dams- Hydroelectric

By: Khaled Hazzam


In a dam, the water flows through a penstock. The water moves the turbine inside the penstock when it passes it. The turbine is attached to a generator which causes the generator to move whenever the turbine moves. The movement of the generator converts the energy from the turning motion of the turbine to electrical energy.
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Most communities build dams at a fast-flowing river. The reason they do not build dams on lakes is because lakes do not flow very fast as rivers do. However, some places build dams at a waterfall such as the dam at the Niagara Falls. The higher the pressure and speed of the water, the faster the turbine will move which will cause the generator to generate more electrical power.
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  • Reduce the production of carbon dioxide and the greenhouse gases
  • Prevents uncontrolled floods
  • Prevents water from being wasted
  • The stored water can be used for irrigation
  • Create areas for recreations such as boating and fishing
  • It is a renewable source


  • Destroys animals habitats such as fish and
  • Interferes with the aquatic wildlife and even the terrestrial wildlife
  • Building dams causes higher water (rivers) level
  • Very expensive to build
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Dams cause 2 main environmental issues. The first issue is that dams affect the ecosystem. When dams are built, they take an amount of space and destroy aquatic animals' habitats. This will decrease the population of these species which would affect other species as well. Therefore, the ecosystem would get unbalances and not sustainable.The second issue is that dams cause higher water level. Any object that is put in the water cause the level of the water to rise. However, the greater the volume of the object, the more higher the water would rise. Putting a massive object like a dam would cause the level of the water to rise a lot. This rise would cause floods and especially at lowland countries like British Columbia.

*This picture shows how dams kill fish

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