A river’s rightful work
aids everyone’s survival by providing
a nutrient channel between land and sea.
Blocking rivers severs community,
manufacturing hunger and thirst.
About 58,000* large dams
now provide services for some
while starving land and sea worldwide.
Most of the world’s large dams divert
water for irrigation.
Some for electricity. Some both.
The United States harbors
approximately 9,000 large dams, trailing
only China's claim to nearly half
the worldwide total in large dams.
Four of the United States dams
are located on the lower Snake River**.
There exist communally beneficent means
toward the services these dams provide.
- Dams should be last resort for managing water and generating electricity.
- Build no more dams on river mainstems, which ensure vital freshwater communities.
- Heed indigenous voices in the protection of rivers and water management.
Many existing large dams
can and should be removed.
Just as with building, removing dams
disrupts lives as land and community shift.
No one asked river, salmon, bear, or wolf
about consequences to them when the dams were built.
No one thought to ask. Whatever the temporary
disruption that occurs in the removal of dams,
the immediate socioeconomic consequence
pales to that endured in the longevity of concrete barriers.
Humans have created a great deal of unnecessary work for themselves
by restricting and denying rivers’ rightful flow.
Assessing the Condition of America's Dams and Rivers
*dam numbers from ICOLD / World Dam Registry General Synthesis
***recommendations from International Rivers / The State of the World's Rivers
Amazon Headwaters Protected! / International Rivers
'downfall of big dams has started and it's beautiful' / Fusion
Removal of Klamath Dams [To] Be Largest River Restoration in U.S. History / KQED
Reservoirs Provide Tap Water Yet Significantly Contribute to Climate Change / KQED
Save Our Wild Salmon for the latest news on the lower Snake River dams and more.
Washington's Big Dam Climate Nightmare / Seattle Weekly
photos courtesy Save Our Wild Salmon