Is building more dams the way to save rivers?


Giuliano Di Baldassarre intervjuas i National Geographic. 

Hydropower projects themselves are also threatened by climate change. A study by the World Wildlife Fund earlier this year found that almost two in three planned hydropower dams globally will be in river basins with very high or extreme risks for droughts, floods, or both, by the year 2050.

Already, hydropower generation has declined dramatically in many regions due to falling water levels in rivers. For some countries, such as Zambia, which gets most of its electricity from hydropower, losses in the amount of hydro-harnessed electricity can lead to major economic disruptions, which is what happened in the southern African country as a result of a decade-long drought that saw output decline by 40 percent.

“Most scientists agree that these supply-demand cycles, or what we call rebound effects, might worsen the impact of drought and water shortage,” says Giuliano Di Baldassarre, a professor of surface water hydrology and environmental analysis at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Read the article in National Geographic here: "Is building more dams the way to save rivers?"

Read Giuliano Di Baldassare´s paper in Nature Sustainability here: "Water shortages worsened by reservoir effects".

News from the Department of Earth Sciences

Last modified: 2022-09-30