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Environmental FlowsSaving Rivers in the Third Millennium$
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Angela H. Arthington

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520273696

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520273696.001.0001

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History of Water Control and Dam Impacts

History of Water Control and Dam Impacts

(p.87) 6 History of Water Control and Dam Impacts
Environmental Flows

Angela H. Arthington

University of California Press

Building on a brief history of human efforts to control and manage water resources, as well as summary statistics, this chapter describes the upstream and barrier effects of large dams in particular. While the contribution of dams to human development has been enormous, their effects on biodiversity, ecosystems, and the ecological goods and services provided to people and societies are of growing concern. In newly inundated areas upstream of dam walls, riverine habitat is replaced by a lake-like habitat that is unsuitable for river species, and which is often colonized by exotic species. The construction of barriers across streams and rivers inevitably leads to loss of longitudinal (and often also lateral) connectivity in flowing waters and ecological impacts, especially on fish movements, breeding, and recruitment.

Keywords:   history of water control, dam impacts, upstream effects, lake-like habitat, exotic species, barrier effects, loss of connectivity, ecological impacts, fish movements, recruitment

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