The waters which are from heaven, and which flow after
being dug, and even those that spring by themselves, the
bright pure waters which lead to the sea, may those divine waters protect me here.’
How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and the heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,How beautiful is the rain!
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Summer rain is here, feel the rain, resonate with rain,
dance on the beats of rhythm divine & bring purest soul home
Each living organism on this planet is intelligent enough to engineer solutions for existence. But they never tread the path and cross their limits. Only humans cross limits.
With the advent of recent industrialization phase, humans are showing arrogance of being superior than nature! And decade after decade, we plan and execute MEGA projects with the help of machines!
Have we ever thought of the impact?
Let us discuss popular way of generating electricity. Dams. And now river linking, new form of Mega dams.
Spend millions of dollar in survey and project planning. Then spend billions in construction with rampant corruption. By the time projects are realized, they not only lose value but also become disaster for ecology.
More than three–quarters of 49 projects assessed in a 1990 World Bank study of hydropower construction costs were found to have experienced unexpected geological problems of some kind. The study concluded that for hydrodams “the absence of geological problems should be treated as the exception rather than the norm.” 🙂
I will quote few references to bring the point to the table that dams increases possibilities of earth-quakes!
Man’s engineering efforts impact the way crustal stresses are released in earthquakes; these includes deep artificial water reservoirs, underground mining, high pressure fluid injection, removing underground fluids like gas, water and oil.
The largest reservoir triggered earth-quake is of magnitude 6.
Other activities triggered earth-quake of magnitude 5
There are more than 70 examples of reservoir induced Seismic Activities.
First known example Hoover Dam, USA.
For a long time, the role of reservoirs in inducing earthquakes was not well understood. Investigation of fluid injection induced earthquakes at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal near Denver, Colorado during the early 1960’s and application of Hubbert and Rubey’s (1959) work by Evans (1966) on the mechanism of triggering earthquakes by increase of fluid pressure, laid the foundation for understanding the phenomenon of reservoir-induced seismicity. Gough and Gough (1970a, b) explained triggering of earthquakes due to incremental stress caused by the load of the reservoir. Gupta et al. (1972a) identified the rate of increase of water level, duration of loading, maximum levels reached, and duration of retention of high water levels among the important factors affecting the frequency and magnitude of earthquakes near artificial reservoirs, The influence of pore fluid pressures in inducing earthquakes in simple reservoir models was investigated by Snow (1972). More sophisticated models of the effects of reservoir impounding on inducing earthquakes based on Biot’s (1941) consolidation theory (Rice and Cleary 1976) are provided by Withers and Nyland (1976) and Bell and Nur (1978). The three main effects of reservoir loading relevant to inducing earthquakes are: (a) the elastic stress increase that follows the filling of the reservoir; (b) the increase in pore fluid pressure in saturated rocks (due to the decrease in pore volume caused by compaction) in response to the elastic stress increase; and (c) pore pressure changes related to fluid migration.
Earthquakes are associated with shear fracturing of rocks. The shear strength of rocks is related to the ratio of the shear stress along the fault to the normal effective stress across the fault. The effective normal stress is equal to the normal stress minus the pore pressure. When the pore pressure increases, the shear stress is not changed, but the effective stress decreases by the amount of the pore pressure. Therefore, the ratio of shear to normal stress increases. If rocks are under an initial shear stress, an increase in fluid pressure can trigger shear failure. At Oroville, Bell and Nur (1978) calculated a maximum drop in strength to be about 40% of the maximum water load. When the fault zone is highly permeable, the strength drop could be as high at 70%. For the Oroville Reservoir, with a water depth of 200 m, these values would translate into drops of 8 and 14 bars. Earthquakes are known to have been triggered consequent to fluid injection and pore pressure changes of 35 bars at Rangely, Colorado (Raleigh et al., 1972, 1976), whereas during a fluid injection experiment only 14 bars pumping pressure was required to trigger earthquakes at Matsushiro, Japan (Ohtake, 1974). Thus the earthquakes at Oroville and other sites of induced seismicity may have been triggered by pore fluid pressure changes.
Read it further and understand the artificial risk for even low seismic activity zones!
While asessing the seismic risk of induced earthquakes near a reservoir, it is not the annual probability of ground shaking, but the acceptable risk in terms of the lifetime of the reservoir, that should be assessed. A more important effect of induced earthquakes is the change in temporal distribution of seismicity (Simpson, 1986). Moreover, induced earthquakes occur in the immediate vicinity of the reservoir. Areas of low natural seismicity are most vulnerable since these are the sites where adequate precautions are not taken to build structures to resist earthquakes; large induced earthquakes have mostly occurred in such areas. In areas of high seismicity, reservoirs may have less impact in changing the seismic regime and civil works are designed to withstand natural earthquakes. In an area of low seismicit where the return period of the maximum expected earthquake may be thousands of years, an increase in the probability of triggering the largest expected earthquake during the lifetime of the reservoir will alter the risk estimate significantly.
The study of reservoir-induced seismicity offers a controlled setting to understand the physics of the earthquake process. Data from detailed investigations at reservoirs in South Carolina suggested that the mechanism of transmission of stress to hypocentral locations is by a process of diffusion of pore pressure (Pp). These results were compared with available worldwide data. The ‘seismic’ hydraulic diffusivity, αs, was estimated from various seismological observations, and was found to be a good estimate of the material hydraulic diffusivity, α. Application of these results to a dedicated experiment to understand RIS at Monticello Reservoir, S.C., suggested that the diffusing Pp front plays a dual role in the triggering of seismicity. The spatial and temporal pattern of RIS can be explained by the mechanical effect of diffusion of Pp with a characteristic hydraulic diffusivity within an order of magnitude of 5 × 104 cm2/s, corresponding to permeability values in the mtl¨¹darcy range. The triggering of seismicity is due to the combined mechanical effect of Pp in reducing the strength and, possibly, the chemical effect in reducing the coëfficiënt of friction between the clays in the pre-existing fractures and the rocks that enclose these fractures.
Excerpt from Silenced Rivers: The Ecology and Politics of Large Dams,
by Patrick McCully, Zed Books, London, 1996
The most widely accepted explanation of how dams cause earthquakes is related to the extra water pressure created in the microcracks and fissures in the ground under and near a reservoir. When the pressure of the water in the rocks increases, it acts to lubricate faults which are already under tectonic strain, but are prevented from slipping by the friction of the rock surfaces.
For most well–studied cases of RIS, the intensity of seismic activity increased within around 25 kilometres of the reservoir as it was filled. The strongest shocks normally occured relatively soon – often within days but sometimes within several years – after the reservoir reached its greatest depth. After the initial filling of the reservoir, RIS events normally continued as the water level rose and fell but usually with less frequency and strength than before. The pattern of RIS is, however, unique for every reservoir.
So when you aboard a train or a bus or go on long drive, you prefer to carry bottled water with you. This relatively new habit (20-25 years old in society.) started becoming norm in last decade. Recent research identified some 24,520 different chemicals present in the tested water. Some of them hampering hormonal balance. Great, right? Buy hormonal imbalance in name of pure water with 300% oxygen rich!
Remember one thing, never get blindfolded by technology. 🙂 Be sensitive for life style. Rely on natural source, as much as possible.
Some dots to connect:
Ever wondered why children in elite class grow abnormally faster and reach puberty early?
Ever wondered why in general, there is estrogen rage? Early puberty for girls, girlish men and abnormal sexual inclination?
Identification of Putative Steroid Receptor Antagonists in Bottled Water: Combining Bioassays and High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are man-made compounds interfering with hormone signaling and thereby adversely affecting human health. Recent reports provide evidence for the presence of EDCs in commercially available bottled water, including steroid receptor agonists and antagonists. However, since these findings are based on biological data the causative chemicals remain unidentified and, therefore, inaccessible for toxicological evaluation. Thus, the aim of this study is to assess the antiestrogenic and antiandrogenic activity of bottled water and to identify the causative steroid receptor antagonists. We evaluated the antiestrogenic and antiandrogenic activity of 18 bottled water products in reporter gene assays for human estrogen receptor alpha and androgen receptor. Using nontarget high-resolution mass spectrometry (LTQ-Orbitrap Velos), we acquired corresponding analytical data. We combined the biological and chemical information to determine the exact mass of the tentative steroid receptor antagonist. Further MSn experiments elucidated the molecule’s structure and enabled its identification. We detected significant antiestrogenicity in 13 of 18 products. 16 samples were antiandrogenic inhibiting the androgen receptor by up to 90%. Nontarget chemical analysis revealed that out of 24520 candidates present in bottled water one was consistently correlated with the antagonistic activity. By combining experimental and in silico MSn data we identified this compound as di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate (DEHF). We confirmed the identity and biological activity of DEHF and additional isomers of dioctyl fumarate and maleate using authentic standards. Since DEHF is antiestrogenic but not antiandrogenic we conclude that additional, yet unidentified EDCs must contribute to the antagonistic effect of bottled water. Applying a novel approach to combine biological and chemical analysis this is the first study to identify so far unknown EDCs in bottled water. Notably, dioctyl fumarates and maleates have been overlooked by science and regulation to date. This illustrates the need to identify novel toxicologically relevant compounds to establish a more holistic picture of the human exposome.
Much of our exposure to endocrine disruptors occurs through what we eat and drink—in some cases, chemicals such as plasticizers may have migrated from food or beverage packaging. The possibility that these chemicals end up in commonly consumed beverages was the focus of two recent European studies that found evidence of estrogenic activity in mineral water. Both studies focused on the estrogenic potential of mineral water bottled in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, the material constituting most convenience−size beverage bottles sold in the United States today.
In the first study, published in the March 2009 International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, a recombinant yeast−based in vitro assay was used to assess estrogenic activity in 30 PET−bottled mineral water samples. Ninety percent of the samples tested negative for estrogenic activity. Of the remaining samples, most showed measurements corresponding to a range of 14–23 ng/L estradiol equivalents—similar to the estrogen burden posed by treated drinking water derived from groundwater and river water (15 and 17 ng/L estradiol equivalents, respectively).
Of the estrogen−positive samples, authors Barbara Pinto and Daniela Reali, investigators in the University of Pisa Department of Experimental Pathology, say the water may have been contaminated at its source, during processing, or after bottling. They cite several studies showing that suboptimal storage conditions—such as prolonged exposure to sunlight and high temperatures—can cause leaching of chemicals from PET bottles into fluid contents, and point out that “cell toxicity was observed for water samples of the same lot of three different brands purchased from the same retailer.”
Eagerly waiting for that real fragrance of mother. Fresh post-rain fragrance of soil.
Following Vedic Hymn gives perfect voice to the intense urge we all have for our mothers. The Vedic praise hymns to the Earth Mother cover a wide range of aspects: physical, organic, metaphysical, ethical and cosmic. No aspect of existence is kept out of its fold.
May we develop/regain back sensitivity to sense mother Earth and live like a responsible son.
Instil in me abundantly that fragrance,
O Mother Earth, which emanates from you
your fragrance which has entered the lotus
where with the immortal Gods at the Sun-daughters wedding
were redolent, O Earth, in times primeval —
instill in me that fragrance.
Your fragrance that adheres to human beings
O Earth, steep us, too deeply in that fragrance
[Atharva Veda, 12.1.23-26]
यस् ते गन्धः पृथिवि संबभूव यं बिभ्रत्य् ओषधयो यम् आपः |
यं गन्धर्वा अप्सरसश् च भेजिरे तेन मा सुरभिं कृणु मा नो द्विक्षत कश् चन ||23||
यस् ते गन्धः पुष्करम् आविवेश यं संजभ्रुः सूर्याया विवाहे |
अमर्त्याः पृथिवि गन्धम् अग्रे तेन मा सुरभिं कृणु मा नो द्विक्षत कश् चन ||24||
यस् ते गन्धः पुरुषेषु स्त्रीषु पुंसु भगो रुचिः |
यो अश्वेषु वीरेषु यो मृगेषूत हस्तिषु |
कन्यायां वर्चो यद् भूमे तेनास्मां अपि सं सृज मा नो द्विक्षत कश् चन ||25||
Water attracts water. When rivers are reduced to token gesture flow due to upstream damming, they no more attract rain. When rivers are impotent to attract rain, tropical rain storms change their patterns and behave randomly, ignoring river.
When there is no rain in tropic, there is no flood-flush effect which can clean mud and sediments into delta area. This results into increase sea level against land.
One in-dept research points it out.
The world’s rivers deliver 19 billion tonnes of sediment to the coastal zone annually1, with a considerable fraction being sequestered in large deltas, home to over 500 million people. Most (more than 70 per cent) large deltas are under threat from a combination of rising sea levels, ground surface subsidence and anthropogenic sediment trapping.
Research by the University of Southampton shows that a change in the patterns of tropical storms is threatening the future of the Mekong River delta in Vietnam, indicating a similar risk to other deltas around the world.
Deltas are landforms made from sediment washed into rivers and carried downstream. The sediment builds up where the river meets slow moving or still water, such as seas or lakes. Deltas naturally subside under their own weight, so a constant flow of new deposits is vital to offset these changes and prevent flooding which could be disastrous to agriculture and the environment.
Their data shows that of all the sediment transported to the delta, one third is due to tropical cyclones. It also shows that the Mekong’s sediment load has declined markedly in recent years – largely due to changes in the location and intensity of storms tracking across the upstream rivers that feed the delta.
Sand mining is already reducing the sediment being delivered to the Mekong delta and further reductions are anticipated as a result of future damming upstream. Therefore, if the storm projections are correct and even less sediment is washed downstream, the delta’s prospects look bleak.
Our study is the first to show the significant role tropical storms can have in the delivery of sediment to large river deltas. This has implications for a range of other major rivers, such as the Ganges in Bangladesh, the Yangtze in China, and the Mississippi in the US. All of these have catchments that are regularly struck by tropical storms. Some 500 million people live and work in the world’s major river deltas – and our work shows we can’t evaluate their future vulnerability to sea-level rise without also considering changes in the storms that feed the deltas.
Here we combine suspended sediment load data from the Mekong River with hydrological model simulations to isolate the role of tropical cyclones in transmitting suspended sediment to one of the world’s great deltas. We demonstrate that spatial variations in the Mekong’s suspended sediment load are correlated (r = 0.765, P < 0.1) with observed variations in tropical-cyclone climatology, and that a substantial portion (32 per cent) of the suspended sediment load reaching the delta is delivered by runoff generated by rainfall associated with tropical cyclones. Furthermore, we estimate that the suspended load to the delta has declined by 52.6 ± 10.2 megatonnes over recent years (1981–2005), of which 33.0 ± 7.1 megatonnes is due to a shift in tropical-cyclone climatology. Consequently, tropical cyclones have a key role in controlling the magnitude of, and variability in, transmission of suspended sediment to the coast. It is likely that anthropogenic sediment trapping in upstream reservoirs is a dominant factor in explaining past5, 6, 7, and anticipating future8, 9, declines in suspended sediment loads reaching the world’s major deltas. However, our study shows that changes in tropical-cyclone climatology affect trends in fluvial suspended sediment loads and thus are also key to fully assessing the risk posed to vulnerable coastal systems.
Sediment-related impacts due to upstream reservoir trapping, the Lower Mekong River
A sharp decrease in total suspended solids (TSS) concentration has occurred in the Mekong River after the closure of the Manwan Dam in China in 1993, the first of a planned cascade of eight dams. This paper describes the upstream developments on the Mekong River, concentrating on the effects of hydropower dams and reservoirs. The reservoir-related changes in total suspended solids, suspended sediment concentration (SSC), and hydrology have been analyzed, and the impacts of such possible changes on the Lower Mekong Basin discussed. The theoretical trapping efficiency of the proposed dams has been computed and the amount of sediment to be trapped in the reservoirs estimated. The reservoir trapping of sediments and the changing of natural flow patterns will impact the countries downstream in this international river basin. Both positive and negative possible effects of such impacts have been reviewed, based on the available data from the Mekong and studies on other basins.
Couple of days back, I shared that plants and soil await rain, not just for water but the flow or Prana with it.
Does it matter? Is it really Prana that is awaited?
Let me add few more sentences to it.
Rain is not about water! It is about the travel of water with all cloud-chaos! Cellular intelligence(प्राण) travel with chaos.
Monsoon brings प्राणिक (प्राण) replenishment. Its not about rain. It is about the sun energy traveled with rain. सूर्य = प्राण.
2500 years back, Chanakya/Kautilya said
नदी वेगेन शुध्यति
It is common sense imparted to Indians by their Rishi-scientists that it is ideal to drink flowing water of river. Ganga jal is considered most sacred for her unique flow through fertile rocks of Himalaya.
Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research finds relevant conclusion.
They say: Flowing water energises minerals.
We believe: Flowing water instills Prana in minerals.
But…wait…we have converted our rivers into gutters. We dammed rivers mindlessly. What a foolish and barbaric civilization we have become…
Flowing water energises minerals
The electric charge of mineral surfaces changes in flowing water – a finding that is also important for understanding geological processes
When water flows over glass or rock, the chemical changes that occur are more profound than had been previously assumed. Using a sophisticated spectroscopic method, a team from the Mainz-based Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research and the University of Namur in Belgium has discovered that the electric charge of mineral surfaces changes radically under a flow of water, as many ions are preferentially dissolved from the material. The type of mineral involved and the acidity or alkalinity of the flowing water determine whether and how strongly the surface is positively or negatively charged. However, the change in the charge can be so radical that it corresponds to a 100-fold change in the acid concentration. The change in the surface charge is directly linked to electrical activity and consequently changes the energy of the surface and its reactivity. This recent discovery could therefore have consequences for understanding numerous chemical processes in nature and in industry.
Since Reverse Osmosis (RO) water is debunked by many, including doctors for their inability to provide correct composition of water, there is new trend emerging. By hook or crook, we must sell water solutions! 😀
Ionized water. Yes! Magic machine that can ionize your water! 🙂 So when you drink such water with alkaline composition, you can slowdown aging and all.
This is the problem of human mimicry of mother nature. Once we learn the benefit of certain phenomenon, we try to build solution with larger than life model. We actually fool ourselves by claiming perfect mimic of the mother nature. Such alkaline water may be good for some for some days but not always because same PH cannot work for all family members! 😀
Instead of spending Rs 15000+ in buying this magic machine, here is the free of cost solution to make your food alkaline and control stomach acidity and by the save self from all unforeseen issues like ulcer and cancer.
1) Drink water sip by sip. Slowly. Very slow. As if you are chewing water.
2) Chew food as much as possible. As many times as teeth you have. If you have 28, 28 times. 32 => 32 times.
Try it for 90 days and give me feedback. 🙂
Our saliva is ninety-nine per cent water. The remaining one per cent, however, contains numerous substances important for digestion, dental health and control of microbial growth in the mouth.
This 1% of Saliva knows very well how to make your food or water alkaline. The salivary glands in our mouth produce about 1-2 litres of saliva daily. Blood plasma is used as the basis, from which the salivary glands extract some substances and add various others. The list of ingredients found so far in saliva is long, and growing. Just as varied are the many functions, of which only a few major ones will be outlined below.
There are many benefits but let us focus on Ionization of water and food. As you start helping your food and water to stay longer in the mouth, you sprinkle them with nectar called ‘Saliva’.
Saliva is full of Ions. It is ion reservoir. More time food and water spend in mouth, better amalgamation of ions with it. Making it more alkaline.
Hydroxyapatite only forms when enough hydroxyl (OH-) and phosphate (PO43-) ions are present. Such conditions prevail at alkaline pH (pH>7). Under acidic conditions the OH- ions turn to water and the phosphate ions to mono-, di-, and trihydrogen phosphates. These do not fit into the crystal lattice and are washed away.7 Our saliva prevents this through buffering substances that keep the pH near neutral, i.e. around 7. If the pH is too alkaline over a prolonged period, the hydroxyapatite grows too quickly, leading to scale (dental calculus). In contrast, continued exposure to acidic fluids (pH<7), e.g. when sucking juice from a baby bottle, leads to porous, thin enamel.
For Mother’s gift (our body), there is always motherly solution. 🙂 And mother never charge. She only expects dharma from us. 🙂
The hard matter of our teeth – enamel and dentine – consists of a very hard crystal called hydroxyapatite. Hydroxyapatite is made from calcium, phosphate and hydroxyl ions. Additionally, it contains organic molecules, mainly collagen, and in the case of dentine also cellular projections from odontoblasts (cells that produce dentine).
Source of building blocks
Because of its specific properties water can dissolve out ions from salt crystals. Table salt for example quickly disintegrates in water into its constituent sodium and chloride ions. Although in hydroxyapatite the ions are bound very tightly, in water the crystal would steadily lose ions from the surface and shrink. To reverse this process, our saliva is saturated with calcium and phosphate ions. These occupy the spaces freed up in the crystal lattice and thus prevent continuous corrosion of the enamel surface. If our saliva was constantly diluted with water, the concentration of calcium phosphate would be insufficient and the tooth enamel would start to erode. This happens for example in the so-called nursing bottle syndrome seen in infants. Due to prolonged sucking on the baby bottle, even if only filled with water, the teeth become porous and typical caries on the upper front teeth develops.5 Good oral hygiene including twice daily brushing of teeth with fluoride-containing toothpaste, and minimising prolonged exposure of teeth to drinks with fermentable carbohydrates (e.g. juice, milk, formula) are some of the strategies that may help reduce the risk.6
Neutralisation of acids
Hydroxyapatite only forms when enough hydroxyl (OH–) and phosphate (PO43-) ions are present. Such conditions prevail at alkaline pH (pH>7). Under acidic conditions the OH– ions turn to water and the phosphate ions to mono-, di-, and trihydrogen phosphates. These do not fit into the crystal lattice and are washed away.7 Our saliva prevents this through buffering substances that keep the pH near neutral, i.e. around 7. If the pH is too alkaline over a prolonged period, the hydroxyapatite grows too quickly, leading to scale (dental calculus). In contrast, continued exposure to acidic fluids (pH<7), e.g. when sucking juice from a baby bottle, leads to porous, thin enamel.5
Thanks to our living under continuous mass media influence, we see solutions to real problems in sentiments.
Milk production in factory like Cold-drinks and sugar production, is water intensive enterprise. Sane society would not prefer it. Esp. when we are under extreme drought conditions.
Organized dairy is one of many heavy water using industry. UNLIKE many countries, New Zealand is blessed with abundant fresh water.
Growing Chinese demand for milk powder means farmers are increasingly switching from meat production to dairy, thereby increasing their water use. Dairy farming is also polluting freshwater supplies, as phosphates and nitrates seep into groundwater. This has become a political issue, not just for the Maori: many of the rivers and lakes loved by all Kiwis are no longer safe to swim in. The most likely outcome is a fudge that avoids saying anyone owns New Zealand’s fresh water. But the Maori may get more influence over some water, or even an allocation.
Same story in India. Amul like organized dairies are no different than Coca cola and pepsi plants, polluting water and using lot of it.
But no guarantee against squabbling over ownership
UNLIKE many countries, New Zealand is blessed with abundant fresh water. Its temperate climate, regular rainfall over much of the country, and thousands of lakes and rivers ensure a good supply. But who owns these larger bodies of water? The government’s answer is, no one: not the state, nor any group or individual. But some of those who have lived in New Zealand longest, the Maori, disagree.
The Maori claim a special relationship with New Zealand’s fresh water, based on their historical use of its rivers for drinking water, spiritual beliefs, fishing and shellfish harvest, transport and trade, among other things. Their case goes back to 1840, when the British Crown and most of the Maori tribes signed the Waitangi treaty, which first formalised the colonists’ settling of the islands. Maori rights were enshrined in the treaty. An interim ruling by the Waitangi tribunal, set up in 1975 to deal with Maori grievances about land and related issues, says that the Maori have freshwater rights “for which full ownership was the closest cultural equivalent in 1840.”
Most pompous govt of Indian project i.e. River linking will build numerous dams and reservoirs across India.
The prolonged history of industrialization, flood control, and hydropower production has led to the construction of 80,000 dams across the U.S. generating significant hydrologic, ecological, and social adjustments.
Now that they are facing ecological disasters, aging infrastructure, risks and costs associated with safety and maintenance, and environmental concerns, England and USA are removing dams one by one!
Instead of learning from their blunders, India is planning to build yet another network of dams and reservoirs!
River restoration by dam removal: Enhancing connectivity at watershed scales
One of the pressing challenges facing biophysical scientists, policy makers, environmental managers, and environmental advocates is how to rehabilitate ecological systems that are increasingly characterized by long-term, significant, and complex anthropogenic changes.
Over the past several decades, more than 1,100 dams have been removed nationally!
Recent estimates indicate that more than 60 dams are being removed per year (Service, 2011a)
Because dam removal can minimize habitat fragmentation and re-establish longitudinal and lateral connectivity (Bednarek, 2001; Hart et al., 2002), many ecologists and environmentalists embrace dam removal as a key component of river restoration.
Regional benefits from dam removal
Our region-wide analysis points to the greater scale of restoration associated with dam removal, and its ability to regenerate a suite of riverine processes including enhanced sediment connectivity, unfragmenting watersheds to allow fish passage, and the opening up significant river length and important habitat for resident and diadromous fish. Dam removal is progressively becoming part of the management toolkit nationally, and our results point to the greater potential for re-connectivity at the watershed scale and, perhaps more importantly, for enhanced watershed resilience. Accordingly, our results point to some unexpected biophysical benefits of undamming New England rivers. Dam removal is at best presented by restoration advocates as a means of enhancing fish passage and returning watersheds to some previous state that is virtually impossible to determine with precision. Some of these claims are accurate, but there is a value added to dam removal that is rarely voiced. This value is related to the capacity of dam removal to increase watershed resilience—as evidenced by the opening up of critical upstream habitats for certain fish species—in the context of large-scale and enduring anthropogenic changes (e.g., climate change).