Building dams offers the positive results of inexpensive energy, increased recreation opportunity and flood control. However, these results are not without negative impacts, as dams interfere with the ecological system and eliminate the benefits of flooding on farmlands downstream.Continue Reading
In the Pacific Northwest of the United States, electricity is cheap, largely due to the resources provided by the Bonneville Power Administration. Water from behind the Bonneville turns the turbines to create large amounts of power. The lakes created by dams provide opportunities for many different types of water sports, including fishing, boating and swimming. These dams have saved millions of dollars and thousands of lives by giving humans control over floods that once destroyed property downstream.
Dams have a negative effect on aquatic ecosystems. Fish, such as salmon that depend on their ability to move from the ocean upstream for spawning, suffer when dams block their path to their breeding grounds. Scientific studies on the Klamath River indicate the positive benefits removing dams along the river include restoration of endangered salmon and the improvement in trout habitat. The positive benefits of dam removal outweigh the negative impacts of leaving them in place. When rich floodplains no longer receive their annual deposits of silt from floods, they become less fertile. Dams that hold back floodwaters and then open floodgates also increase erosion downstream due to the surge of water.Learn more about Human Impact
Examples of spillover benefits include flood control dams, educated societies and medical and scientific advancements. Essentially, spillover benefits help third parties by providing benefits that party members did not invest in or contribute to. Some spillover benefits provide short-term benefits, such as the protection of flood control dams provided to citizens in surrounding floodplains, while others like education create long-term benefits for societies.Full Answer >
In contrast to a natural disaster, a man-made disaster results from human activity and can cause harm to people, animals and plants. The Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 and the British Petroleum oil spill in 2010 are two prominent examples of man-made disasters.Full Answer >
Habitat fragmentation, reduced biodiversity and melted permafrost are a few results of human interaction with the tundra. Despite the tundra's year-round ice and sparse vegetation, it is a sensitive biome that is easily affected by global warming, industrialization and pollution.Full Answer >
The effects of poor environmental sanitation are numerous and they include human disease, poor overall human health and economic disadvantages as well as social disadvantages. Chadwick published a report in 1842 that was the first to detail that a lack of sanitation would lead to disease for humans.Full Answer >