In one of the main Dutch newspapers, project leader Carlos Garcia de Leaniz is quoted that not every dam can or should be removed. There are risks of poisonous sediments coming free and invasive species getting access to upper river stretches. Also, there are cultural values to be considered, like the old Roman Prosperina Dam in the West of Spain. Carlos Garcia de Leaniz:
“We should make explicit why a dam should be removed. Because we can, or because it’s a priority for us? Dams are built neglecting the ecological impacts, when removing we should not make the same mistakes.“
The quote is in context of an increasing attention for dam removals in Europe. The extensive article in the Volkskrant writes about the major dam removals currently being implemented in Estonia. With support of EU funding barriers are removed, reopening 3300 km of rivers. Species like trout, eel and freshwater mussels are expected to benefit significantly. There will also be efforts to restore spawning grounds for salmon.
Author: Arjan Berkhuysen
Photo credit: Estonia Ministry of Environment