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Dams Promote Erosion

The folks at International Rivers explain that dams hold back sediments that would naturally replenish downstream ecosystems. "When a river is deprived of its sediment load, it seeks to recapture it by eroding the downstream river bed and banks, undermining bridges and other riverbank structures," they continue. "Riverbeds downstream of dams are typically eroded by several meters within the decade of first closing a dam; the damage can extend for tens or even hundreds of kilometers below a dam."

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