Sustainability of Dams


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  • Turbines decommissioned in 1968, Recreational use, 38 ft high dam Age – 88 years old2009 ASCE Infrastructure Report Card – Not classified as ‘High’ hazard, 10 in. rain in 12 hrs, Maquoketa rose to 24 ft, 3 flood gates but 1 gate only opened halfway, water overtopped roadway200 ft long portion of Southern embankment eroded away, 8000 people evacuated from downstream cities Monticello and Hopkinton, Emptied lake, Major flood damage, Millions of dollars in damagespoorly maintained
  • Numbers include both small and large dams
  • Outline, just examples of what we will discuss
  • Sustainability of Dams

    1. 1. Insights into Dam SustainabilityEconomic, Environmental, and Social<br />Pedro Palomino, Katherine Graf, Francisco Sotomayor, Jake Thickman<br />
    2. 2. Introduction<br />Lake Dehli Dam, Iowa<br />
    3. 3. Dam Failure<br />Lake Dehli Dam Failure<br />
    4. 4. 2009 ASCE Infrastructure Report Card <br />State of US Dams<br />> 85,000 in US<br />Average age = 51 years<br />G.P.A = D (Poor)<br />4,000 deficient and 1,819 high hazard potential dams<br />Unsafe and failure could lead to catastrophic results<br />Solutions<br />$2.2 trillion over 5 years for all infrastructure<br />Promote sustainability<br />
    5. 5. Pillars of Sustainability<br />Brundtland Report<br />Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs<br />Economic<br />Power generation, Water supply, Flood prevention<br />Environmental<br />Fish kills, Habitat loss, Nutrient Transport, <br />Social<br />New infrastructure, Displacement of locals, Health issues<br />
    6. 6. Economic - Common Purposes<br />Power Generation<br />Water Supply<br />Irrigation<br />Flood Prevention<br />Land Reclamation<br />
    7. 7. Hydroelectric Power<br />Dam Cross-Section<br />
    8. 8. Hydroelectric power<br />Major Reason for Construction of Large Dams<br />Considered cheap and clean; An important renewable energy source<br />Large portion of US and World Energy production<br />An important part of local economies. <br />
    9. 9. As Energy Source in the World<br />
    10. 10. As Energy Source in US<br />
    11. 11. Comparison: Other Energy Sources<br />
    12. 12. Part of Renewable Energy<br />
    13. 13. Water Supply<br />Important part of water supply infrastructure<br />Used to store water for use during drier parts of the year.<br />Can be part of the water treatment process<br />Bill Young Reservoir, Tampa Bay<br />
    14. 14. Irrigation<br />Agriculture is a main user of reservoir stored water. <br />Large dams often built to divert water from a river toward dry or desert areas for farmland.<br />Mixed Economic success<br />Example: Rivers that feed Aral sea diverted in an attempt to grow rice, melons, cereals, and cotton.<br />
    15. 15. Irrigation<br />Aral Sea, Central Asia<br />
    16. 16. Flood Prevention<br />Attenuating or balancing Reservoirs<br />Collect water during high rainfall and release it slowly over the following weeks or months. <br />Control of Nile river floods is a prime example<br />Aswan High Dam on the Nile<br />
    17. 17. Land Reclamation<br />Dams can be built to hold back water for the purposes of land development<br />Known as Dykes or Levees. <br />Prime examples:<br />New Orleans <br />Netherlands<br />Levee, Netherlands<br />
    18. 18. Economic Dangers<br />Dams/reservoirs susceptible to droughts and climate change.<br />Examples:<br />2001 Northwest drought reduced hydroelectric power leading to loss of thousands of jobs in the aluminum industry<br />Columbia river reservoirs can only store 30% of annual flow. Earlier snow melts means water is released too soon for use by customers. <br />Drought in the US west is causing Water Managers to limit water withdrawals, to the detriment of local economies. <br />
    19. 19. Environmental - Reservoir<br />Scale<br />In the U.S, dams are capable of storing the equivalent of an entire year of runoff<br />Submerged vegetation<br />Decomposition by microorganisms<br />Nutrient release- initial increase in productivity, potential for anoxic conditions in benthic areas<br />Fish kills- result of seasonal mixing of anoxic benthic water<br />Greenhouse gases- reduction of sequestration, carbon dioxide and methane release equal to 4% and 20% of anthropogenic emissions <br />Hume reservoir in Albury, Australia<br />
    20. 20. Surrounding Area<br />Hydrologic cycle<br />Standing water leads to a temperature increase<br />Alteration of evaporation and precipitation<br />Initial flooding<br />Habitat loss and temporary increase in mortality rates of wildlife<br />Mixed effects on local wildlife<br />Species specific effects dependent on adjustment to newly formed ecotone- benefits species such as waterfowl <br />Shasta Dam reservoir in California<br />
    21. 21. Downstream<br />Flow regime<br />Maintenance of natural variability levels underlies the productivity of downstream ecosystems<br />Dams often seek to reduce flow variability, sacrificing ecological functions <br />Ecological functions include matter and nutrient cycling, providing critical habitat areas, and nutrient deposit and transport<br />Adverse effects on highly productive estuarine river deltas, as conditions such as salinity are dependent upon river inputs. Ex- decline of the Colorado delta clam<br />
    22. 22. Downstream<br />Sediment<br />Lost to downstream ecosystems through river impoundments and diversions<br />Removal of nutrients in downstream leads to decreased productivity in both rivers and connected ecosystems<br />Loss of soil fertility on floodplain. Ex- Aswan Dam in the Nile Valley<br />Direct effects on biota<br />Physical barrier to migration routes<br />Can prevent access to critical breeding<br />Proposed solutions such as fish ladders <br />John Day Dam Fish Ladder, Columbia River <br />
    23. 23. Social<br />Benefits<br />Roads<br />Jobs<br />Adverse Effects<br />Displacement<br />Health Issue<br />Very seldom do they experience the economic and power generation benefits<br />
    24. 24. Effects due to Globalization<br />Benefits are often not experienced by those who were adversely effected by dam construction<br />Dams are generally constructed in rural areas were they produce electricity and move the electricity long distances to neighboring industrial areas or cities<br />The people in the dam region experience temporary jobs, new infrastructure, and relocation<br />
    25. 25. Displacement<br />40 millions people displaced in the last 10 years<br />Compensation for displacement<br />River degradation effects on community<br />Note: In a ranked table based on the number of resettlers, the top 10 dams would be in China and India.<br />Source: Based on Scudder (1997a).<br />
    26. 26. Compensation<br />Lesotho Highlands Water Project<br />One of the five largest dam projects in the world<br />Brought infrastructure, roads and some employment to a previously very rural and poor area of Lesotho<br />A world class compensation plan was put in place for those how resettled<br />The difficultly with compensation is often quantifying costs<br />Compensation is often rebuilding houses<br />More difficult compensation is finding displaced families viable areas of lands for crops they previously grew.<br />
    27. 27. Health Concerns<br />Reservoir is a perfect habitat for vectors<br />Vectors, such as mosquitoes and snails, bring diseases<br />Diseases include Malaria and encephalitis<br />Due to displacement families are driven to consume unsafe water<br />Resettled groups live in a denser populated area resulting in poor hygiene and host of other diseases<br />
    28. 28. Health Impacts<br />
    29. 29. Conclusions<br />Economic<br /><ul><li>Global electricity consumption
    30. 30. Fossil fuels – 69%, Nuclear – 13%, Hydropower – 15%, Other renewables – 3%
    31. 31. Hydropower – Relatively low & constant prices
    32. 32. Water Supply – Drinking and agricultural irrigation
    33. 33. Flood control and land reclamation</li></li></ul><li>Conclusions<br />Environmental<br />Reservoir - Greenhouse gas emissions, Fish kills<br />Surrounding Area – Habitat loss<br />Downstream – Altered flow, Sediment deposition<br />Social<br />Benefits – Jobs, New infrastructure<br />Adverse effects – River degradation, Health problems<br />
    34. 34. Recommendations<br /><ul><li>Developed World (United States)
    35. 35. Most suitable locations have already been built up
    36. 36. Only way to improve sustainability is by investing in maintenance to extend their lifespans
    37. 37. Developing World
    38. 38. The impacts must be well defined
    39. 39. All stakeholders must be involved in the discussion
    40. 40. Mechanisms must be in place to regulate operations
    41. 41. Funding must be in place for to continue proper operation and maintainance into the future</li></li></ul><li>Thank you <br />Questions?<br />Hoover Dam, Nevada<br />