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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dam, that's impressive

Feel free to go ahead and fullscreen this.

Back from late October, National Geographic, as part of an overarching project on global water issues, gave us this stunning video of the Condit Dam in Washington State being demolished.  The ecology of the area demanded begged for change in water flow in order for fish population (and populations on upward in the food chain) to thrive again.  Normally politics and big corporation would fight this.  After all, nature can't afford lawyers.  PacifiCorp, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) can though!  They co-sponsored the studies showing that dam removal could be cost-effective.  Luckily, upgrades to the dam would cause a net loss, even when considering that the power generated would have to from then on be provided to local community from elsewhere.

National Geographic provides us with some extra details in their summary: (I almost said abstract)

"For 98 years, the 125-foot high Condit Dam in southeastern Washington State held back the White Salmon River, creating a serene lake, but choking off the waterway to salmon. Wednesday, in an historic effort, the dam was dramatically breached, and ecologists hope the increased flow of water will restore the waterway to fish and other aquatic organisms, as well as the birds and mammals that rely on them."

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