Dams' and Levees' Effect on Rivers

Beneficial or Detrimental?

Dams

Dams are structures built across rivers to control or stop the flow of water.


GOOD


Here are some ways that dams affect the river beneficially. Hydro-power dams generate electricity. Sometimes dams provide water to people. A lot of dams were built to prevent floods. A lot of them do.


BAD


Here are some ways that dams affect the river in detrimental ways. They stop the rivers flow. That can create floods. Hydro-power dams focus on electric production first and if that means hurting the river, then they will do that. Hydro-power dams take oxygen from the water and that kills fish or forces the fish to re-adapt.

Levees

Levees are walls of dirt built by humans around a river.


GOOD


Here are some ways that levees affect the river beneficially. Levees can be big or small permanent or temporary. When floodwater rises a levee will stop it because the water can not penetrate it. They keep the river in its channel and out of our city’s streets. Most levees were built to stop floods. Many do.


BAD


Here are some ways that levees affect the river in detrimental ways. During major floods the water may wash away pieces of the levee from the shore and that can cause sediment issues down the river. They keep the water from going where it naturally should go. They keep sediment from going down its path and that can cause a flood.


Bibliography

"Dam Effects." Dam Effects. Hydropower Reform Coalition, 2009. Web. Oct. 2013.


Johnson, Robin. The Mississippi: America's Mighty River. New York: Crabtree Pub., 2010. Print.


Nicklow, John W. "Dams." Water:Science and Issues. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. Nov. 2013