Environmental impacts of hydroelectric dams

By Gurmannat Samra
Elementary Category (Grades 4-6)
Study | Environment

What are the impacts of hydroelectric dams? I always wondered that those really big and huge hydroelectric dams are just sitting there so they have to have some kind of impact on our environment. That’s when I did my science fair project on hydroelectric dams so that I can find the answer of my question.

First what I did was I researched about my question. That when I had found enough information I had started my project. Some information I found was what are the advantages of these dams. Well I found out that construction costs are low for small or medium-sized dams compared with our hydropower plants. Also a dam produces electricity without burning fossil fuels, and is thus considered a source of clean energy. Some disadvantages of hydroelectric dams are that dams do produce some negative environmental impacts. For instance many species of fish cannot migrate for spawning purposes once their rivers are blocked by dams. In the U.S.A alone, some salmon populations have come down to a couple of million from over 15 million following dam construction. What I concluded to was that hydroelectric dams do have some effects or impacts on our environment. But, I also found out that these dams also have some advantages too. Like their construction money is very less and a dam produces electricity without burning fossil fuels!

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