Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Do all dams suck?

Before you blast me for asking a silly question, consider it.

I was having a friendly discussion with a fine gentlemen on this forum and the topic arose.

I like that dams are used for renewable energy. I like that some dams release water in such a manner that I can schedule kayaking.

I don't like that dams block the natural flow of rivers, or the migration of fish. I don't like Dams that are set in sandstone in the desert. I don't like that Dams flood wildlife habitat.

I can come up with more reasons to dislike Dams.

What good are they?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,507 Posts
both good and bad. they help mantian a constant flow so water is around year round compare to a river raising everyspring up to un heard of hieghts and than dryer than a bone in the fall.

dams are bad though in some cases because they allow people to build where life wouldn't be supported without them and 2 because it flat out can ruin a run for good and the water could be diverted miles down river underground for power(which is very nessesary to use this computer).

they are both right and wrong depending on its own application. the Poudre is a smaller river compared to some of them and a reservoir in that location would be a really stupid idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Unfortunately, all dams and diversion projects have direct ecological impacts, and I find that very objectable. In the act of storing floodwater for agriculture, a direct ecological impact is the stated intention of the project. I have a hard time reconciling my shared need for water and storage projects with my personal imperative to see all rivers run wild and free. Projects that provide me with offseason boating are somehow much less objectable than wasteful projects that serve to only evaporate the boating opportunities.

I offer we build no more in channel storage or direct diversions, rip down the wasteful ones and re-engineer our water storage systems to stand out of channel and store only a percentage of storage flow to preserve proper ecological proportion at the rivers various stages. Hydropower projects should be pumped back only up short sections of front range roadside mank, all winter long too, and heated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
:confused:
I don't think you really understood me, I am trying to suggest improvements to current storage not the removal of any except as I specified, the "wasteful," 60% evaporation loss kind of ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,523 Posts
All ecological, sociologic and economic impacts aside, without dams, the Colorado boating season would be a lot shorter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Bladder Baby

This one doesn't suck either (when there's enough flow to crest it at least)

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
I see no positive aspects to dams. They are ecologically devisativing. Dams force rivers to stop fowing and deposit all there setiment. Then, when the river is released the water is clear, cold, and hungery for sediment, causing greater errosion of the downstream environment. I am sure you are all aware of the many other ecologically devistating effects of damming rivers such as habitat loss and temperature variations. Dams are also not a sustainable form of energy production. The longer a dam is in place the more the river ecosystem in damaged. Over time sediment will build up along the dam and eventully the dam will need to be removed, or the ecosystem will be damaged beyond repair. This is not a sustaibable system. As far as a shorter boating season, I would much rather have healthy rivers. I would also suggest that while the season is longer and more consistent, many people would enjoy true spring run off on wild rivers instead of moderate flows on tamed, dammed river. Many people may argue that dams are nessisary for human populations to thrive, but I do not beleive they are. Dams allow people to live in greater numbers then the carrying capacity of many arid regons shoud allow. Since the dams are not sustainable they will eventually fail, leaving people in these over crowded desert regoins with out water . I would site Las Vegas and Phoenix as examples of large citys in desert regons that should not support human populations of that scale, and will be left vonerable to drought when unsustainable dams fail. Wild and Free rivers are truly nessisary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,507 Posts
I see no positive aspects to dams. They are ecologically devisativing. Dams force rivers to stop fowing and deposit all there setiment. Then, when the river is released the water is clear, cold, and hungery for sediment, causing greater errosion of the downstream environment. I am sure you are all aware of the many other ecologically devistating effects of damming rivers such as habitat loss and temperature variations. Dams are also not a sustainable form of energy production. The longer a dam is in place the more the river ecosystem in damaged. Over time sediment will build up along the dam and eventully the dam will need to be removed, or the ecosystem will be damaged beyond repair. This is not a sustaibable system. As far as a shorter boating season, I would much rather have healthy rivers. I would also suggest that while the season is longer and more consistent, many people would enjoy true spring run off on wild rivers instead of moderate flows on tamed, dammed river. Many people may argue that dams are nessisary for human populations to thrive, but I do not beleive they are. Dams allow people to live in greater numbers then the carrying capacity of many arid regons shoud allow. Since the dams are not sustainable they will eventually fail, leaving people in these over crowded desert regoins with out water . I would site Las Vegas and Phoenix as examples of large citys in desert regons that should not support human
populations of that scale, and will be left vonerable to drought when unsustainable dams fail. Wild and Free rivers are truly nessisary.
I think its positive i have water to drink and take showers with in the winter and fall.
what do you propose from steam boat to do about the people already living in those areas they shouldn't. we can't cut them off. lets hear what you have to say if all dams are bad? you don't have a wide veiw obviously. it may not be positive to you but to the hundreds of thousands of people that the arkansas and colorado rivers feed every day...... haha you are completely blind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
I do not sugest cutting peple off, but I do sugest learning from the mistakes of the past and not repeating them by creating more large daming progects. I also sugest looking for long term solutions to the increaced over population problem of arid western regions created by damming rivers and overusing the water resource. There comes a point were the natural carrying capacity of an ecosystem will simply not allow further population growth, and we need to live with in that range or eventually the population will crash. I am also not blind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
I see no positive aspects to dams.
What about flood control that saves lives every year in different places?

Or do you believe that people who live in flood plains, and there are hundreds of million of people globally who do, should either move or risk death and significant property damage?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
I do not sugest cutting peple off, but I do sugest learning from the mistakes of the past and not repeating them by creating more large daming progects. I also sugest looking for long term solutions to the increaced over population problem of arid western regions created by damming rivers and overusing the water resource. There comes a point were the natural carrying capacity of an ecosystem will simply not allow further population growth, and we need to live with in that range or eventually the population will crash. I am also not blind.

Please learn to spell! You’ve set a record for misspelled words in your last 2 posts here is a list: devastating, flowing, sediment, hungry, erosion, devastating, eventually, sustainable, necessary, believe, regions, should, regions, cities, regions, vulnerable, necessary, suggest, people, suggest, damming, projects, suggest, increased.

You also are extremely blind to the issues of dams in the real world. Your fantastic little idea of having every river in the world run wild is not only impossible at this point but in most cases just plain silly. Damming projects allow us to provide electricity to people, to maintain a stable water supply, prevent deadly flooding on many rivers, and just generally support human life in regions it wouldn’t be possible in before. I am not saying every damming project that has been carried out is justifiable, but some are. Here is an analogy. You live in a house/apartment/something other than a Teepee, you have thus altered the environment to build that place, causing detrimental effects to that area, in order for you to have a place to sustain your life. Think about it, it may not be a perfect analogy but it makes sense.

As far as the sediment building up and causing the premature failure of dams you, obviously have never worked with a large organization before. They will not simply stand by idly while their dam is destroyed, I would bet that most already have a plan for the removal of excess sediment in order to keep the dam open. They have engineers who’s job it is solely to work on this stuff and trust me they are far smarter than you, and me too for that matter.

You need to calm down and not be so one-sided and realize that there are huge benefits to damming projects.

To others reading I am sorry as that was very harsh. Ignorant people just rub me the wrong way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,523 Posts
I hate to agree with Caspar...but yeah! The ancient Puebloans of Mesa Verde had reservoirs, and so did many other ancient peoples. Without reservoirs, people would need to live a nomadic existence in arid areas, following the rains and herds. We caught a rattlesnake, now we got something for dinner! We got it, we got it!

Local Wright Water Engineers have done a bunch of work on ancient water works. There's some great papers and reports at the following link:
Wright Paleohydrological Institute

Don't leave me stranded here I can't get used to this lifestyle :mrgreen:

Sorry, got some Byrne on the mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
Here in Durango they are building on a project to pump the water from the Animas River to a remote location up a hill. I believe the plan is to re-generate the electricity used for the initial pumping when the water spills back into the Animas. I do not know if they have plans to heat it though???

lol!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
A lot of dams in the past were not constructed with the impacts that we know about now in mind. They were not concerned about killing a valley to store water to support LA and Las Vegas because that's where the money was. Times have changed though, environmental and social aspects are considered now before a new dam can be built. Dams are a necessary evil, 35% of the worlds food comes from the 18% of land that is irrigated. Even though most people do not like dams, myself included, we are better off having some. That said I wouldn't mind a lot of dams being gone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
The real problem is people in these arid locations insist on having green grass. If your short on water, don't give it to the Grass dumb asses.
 

·
Kjirsten
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
"A-LP defies gravity and logic"

This is of course the project I've had in mind since this thread started. Almost every post here makes a valid point. There are valid reasons to preserve free flowing rivers. There are valid reasons to dam them.

If there are "engineers who’s job it is solely to work on this stuff [who] are far smarter than you and me" then we should have far fewer ridiculous dam building projects. It's not about who is smart enough to assess the impact and make the best decision for all those affected- it's about money and "rights".

The Animas/La Plata project was debated for 30 years before finally passing in a watered-down (no pun intended) version. Regardless, the plan is going through. They are going to pump water over a mountain and into a reservoir that will benefit a fraction of the people it serves now. Already millions of dollars over budget, the reservoir will not be full until 2012, if ever.

SWCA, the environmental agency that oversaw the excavation of the reservoir found over 60 archaeological sites and were only allowed to excavate a portion before the engineers told them enough, they were moving forward. At least one of these sites contained brand new controversial information regarding the civilizations that use to inhabit the area.

The pump site is already an ugly, gaping sore on the side of the river.

I don't have the answers, nor do I pretend to know that much about building dams, but it feels like there has been very little accountability for this project at least.


Here in Durango they are building on a project to pump the water from the Animas River to a remote location up a hill. I believe the plan is to re-generate the electricity used for the initial pumping when the water spills back into the Animas. I do not know if they have plans to heat it though???

lol!
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Top