GEOL 5903 Seminar: Lauren Muzak Ruff

November 21, 2019 (12:00 pm - 1:00 pm)


21 November 2019

GEOL 5903 Seminar: Lauren Muzak Ruff
Title: The science and controversy of dam removal
Location and Time: Huggins Science Hall, Room 336, 12:00 p.m.
Abstract
Historically, natural waterways have been impounded for energy, agriculture and irrigation, recreation, fisheries, and flood management. The 20th century was a period of technological advancement which resulted in a time of intense dam installation. Recent advances in hydrology, fluvial geomorphology and wet system ecology have developed a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of dams. As dam infrastructure ages, governments, utilities and communities are faced with the decision of whether to maintain a dam or remove it. Both scientific and socioeconomic factors contribute to the decision to remove dams. Recent studies present both positive and negative impacts of dam removal. Studies in favour of dam removal support a perspective of a return to natural conditions in which displaced species are re-introduced into an ecosystem. Conversely, some studies support a new landscape stability perspective that cautions against the removal of the dam and the watershed disturbance that will occur. Arguments for and against dam removal are complex and nuanced and can often be driven not only by science, but also public and political opinion.


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