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Advantages to dams

Place your mouse on each of the reasons for dams:

Dams also aid in navigation by making waters deeper and calmer.
Most likely you are affected by a dam one way or another. You may be receiving drinking water from a dam's reservoir or eating food grown on a farm that was irrigated by a dam's reservoir water. Dams have been used to build up dry barren land into fruitfull, productive cities:

"The engineered West [of the United States] offered its inhabitants a superior brand of life, particularly in the far northwest corner. Dams gave people who lived in the Pacific Northwest the cheapest electricity in the country. They turned the deserts of eastern Washington and Oregon into gardens. Their power made aluminum for the airplanes and fuel for the atomic bombs that helped win World War II. Their locks turned a town in Idaho -- a town 465 miles from the sea -- into a major sea-port. The Bureau of Reclamation made no secret of what it was doing. Its official slogan was "Our Rivers: Total Use for Greater Wealth."

from A River Lost by Blaine Harden

But societal structures often have as many problems as they have good points.

The catastrophics failure of dams, among other things, has a huge impact on society.

What dams have failed?

Dams: societal structures Examples of dam failure