Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Controversial dam removals founded on value conflicts

Date:
February 22, 2013
Source:
Umeå universitet
Summary:
Researchers in Sweden conclude that public opposition to dam removal is not based on knowledge deficiency, as is sometimes argued in dam removal science. It is instead a case of different understandings and valuation of the environment and the functions it provides.

Researchers at Sweden's Umeå University conclude that public opposition to dam removal is not based on knowledge deficiency, as is sometimes argued in dam removal science. It is instead a case of different understandings and valuation of the environment and the functions it provides.

The findings are now published in the journal Ecology and Society.

Dam removal is an increasingly common practice as old splash dams and small hydropower dams have become obsolete. Although the removal of these dams has ecological benefits by restoring rivers to their former courses, local residents sometimes contest dam removals.

"We wanted to understand how the proponents and opponents of dam removal think about the function of two contrasting ecosystems -- an existing dam with a pond and a potential running stream without the pond. The local people who fight to have a dam remain in place have often been dismissed as unknowledgeable," says Dolly Jørgensen, environmental historian at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science.

Together with ecologist Birgitta Malm-Renöfält, she investigated the types of arguments made for and against dam removal in newspaper articles about dams in the Swedish towns Alby, Hallstahammar, Orsa, and Tallåsen.

They found that those who want to remove the dam place a high value on the return of game fish to the ecosystem, recreational fishing, and restoration in general. Opponents want the dam to remain because of recreational opportunities for bathing and beaches, the aesthetics of the pond's still water, and the cultural heritage of the pond and the historic dam.

"The public opposition is not based on knowledge deficiency, where more information would lead to better ecological decision-making. The locals simply value different aspects of the environment than scientists or environmentalists that want the dam removed, " says Dolly Jørgensen.

As the number of dam removal projects continues to grow in Sweden and other places in the world, controversies are likely to become more common. Because a decision to remove or keep the dam will result in one side losing the ecosystem services they value, compromise solutions may be difficult to reach.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Umeå universitet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dolly Jørgensen, Birgitta Malm Renöfält. Damned If You Do, Dammed If You Don't: Debates on Dam Removal in the Swedish Media. Ecology and Society, 2013; 18 (1) DOI: 10.5751/ES-05364-180118

Cite This Page:

Umeå universitet. "Controversial dam removals founded on value conflicts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130222075728.htm>.
Umeå universitet. (2013, February 22). Controversial dam removals founded on value conflicts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130222075728.htm
Umeå universitet. "Controversial dam removals founded on value conflicts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130222075728.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

AP (Aug. 26, 2014) — Researchers at UC Berkeley are testing a prototype of an earthquake early warning system that California is pursuing years after places like Mexico and Japan already have them up and running. (August 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) — Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brazil Tries Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Dengue

Brazil Tries Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Dengue

AFP (Aug. 25, 2014) — A factory in the industrial state of Sao Paulo produces genetically modified mosquitoes to fight dengue, a deadly tropical disease more prevalent in Brazil than anywhere else in the world. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Prime Minister at Japan Landslide Site

Raw: Prime Minister at Japan Landslide Site

AP (Aug. 25, 2014) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Hiroshima on Monday as rescuers expanded their search for dozens still missing from landslides around the western Japanese city that killed at least 50 people. (Aug. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins