Dams are built because they have some benefits, such as generating electricity or storing water. But they also have social and environmental costs. The displacement of populations by the flood is the first and most immediate consequence, but there is also an alteration of the ecosystem. In this AgroCorrn article, we talk in detail about the damages and benefits of reservoirs.
Consequences of reservoirs
Due to this interruption of the natural dynamics, artificial barriers alter the fluvial ecosystems from the headwaters of the rivers to their mouths, not only in the section where the dam is built. They modify the natural process of erosion and sediment transport, the flow regime and the quality of the water; they hinder the natural movement of native flora and fauna and favor the adaptation of exotic species.
Some environmental groups believe that the damage from dams is not outweighed by the benefits. Ecologists in Action and the organization Ingeniería sin Fronteras have called on the Government of Spain to eliminate some reservoirs due to their environmental and social impact. They have chosen to celebrate the International Day of Action for Rivers to make their claim public.
Spain is one of the countries in the world with the largest number of reservoirs per territory and inhabitant. For this reason, the organizations have asked that new dams not be built and that a demolition plan be drawn up for those that are unnecessary.
Spain has more than 1,100 large reservoirs, which have led to the destruction of as many valleys , with everything that was in them. The social impact has also been enormous, since the reservoirs led to the destruction of more than five hundred villages, which are currently under water.
Many of the dikes, ponds, weirs and dams built in the past have lost the function they once had. This is demonstrated by WWF with its Liberando Ríos initiative, with which it tries to recover degraded rivers and river ecosystems by substantially revising or modifying obstacles that unnecessarily fragment river systems.
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