Dams have been used to provide a store of water for agriculture, industrial uses, household uses for thousands of years. Hydroelectric dams, additionally, act as an alternative to non-renewable energy resources that constitutes the majority of the world’s energy . In the 20th century, over $2 trillion was spent on making dams around the world . However, dams have drastic damaging effects on the environment and on the populations that live near the dams and so have become the subject of great scrutiny, with organizations concerned with environmental health such as World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and International Rivers advocating the removal of old dams and the use of alternatives . Initiatives have been taken around the US to remove old, outdated dams . In this article, Mission 2017 looks into the uses of dams and ways of maximizing their efficiency and minimizing their environmental damage. The first part of the article looks into the details of dams and their problems and the second part deals with possible solutions to the problems.
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