Biodiversity Gains As Dam & Weir Removal Accelerates Across Europe. Is River Sid Weir Removal Technically Possible & Desirable?

Judging by the size and number of huge dams and weirs being removed across Europe the issues associated with removing at least some obstacles, such as School Weir, on the Sid are not insurmountable. However a balance between the pros and cons of Dam & Weir Removal need to be sought because as much as many want to see biodiversity gains, no one wants negative unforeseen consequences. In some cases there are alternative solutions.

The following video highlights some of the challenges dam and weir removal poses. And some of the approaches and answers.

The video is just nine minutes in length. But if time is short I’ve summarised the key points with a note of the time each occurs in the video.

Dam & Weir Removal Summary

Europe is removing its dams to restore natural river ecosystems and protect migratory fish populations. The recent removal of three dams on Finland’s Holan River is a significant step in this transformation. The number of dams removed across Europe is now in the hundreds.

Dam & Weir Removal Highlights

  • 0:23 🌊 Dams in Europe have been disrupting river ecosystems and threatening migratory fish populations.
  • 1:59 🏞️ The removal of three dams on Finland’s Holan River has opened up waterways for the first time in generations.
  • 3:28 🚧 Dismantling dams is a complex engineering challenge that requires careful planning and consideration of sediment management.
  • 6:13 ⏰ Different methods are used to dismantle dams, including notch and release, rapid release, dig and dewater, and retain sediment approaches.
  • 9:42 🌍 Dam removal projects in Europe are costly but essential for restoring free-flowing rivers and reversing biodiversity loss.
  • 12:25 💰 Removal of a 10m high dam in Europe averages $6.2 million, highlighting the financial cost of dam removal.
  • 14:07 🌱 Dam removal efforts are gaining momentum in Europe, with a record-breaking number of dams dismantled in recent years.

Removing Dams & Weirs: Key Insights

  • 0:23 🌊 Dam removal is crucial to restore the natural rhythms of rivers and protect ecosystems. It allows migratory fish to access their spawning grounds and ensures the connectivity of habitats for various species.
  • 3:28 🚧 Dismantling dams requires careful consideration of sediment management to prevent potential harm to downstream rivers. Understanding the composition of trapped sediment is essential in determining the best approach for its release or removal.
  • 6:13 ⏰ Different methods, such as notch and release, rapid release, dig and dewater, and retain sediment approaches, are employed by engineers to dismantle dams. Each method has its advantages and trade-offs, depending on the specific conditions of the dam and surrounding landscape.
  • 9:42 🌍 Dam removal projects in Europe are costly but essential investments for restoring the health of river ecosystems and combating biodiversity loss. They contribute to the reestablishment of free-flowing rivers, which are vital for the survival and flourishing of numerous species.
  • 12:25 💰 The financial cost of dam removal is a significant consideration. Removing a 10m high dam in Europe averages $6.2 million, highlighting the financial commitment required for these restoration projects.
  • 14:07 🌱 Dam removal efforts in Europe are gaining momentum, with a record-breaking number of dams dismantled in recent years. This progress demonstrates a growing recognition of the ecological importance of free-flowing rivers and the need to address the negative impacts of dams on ecosystems and biodiversity.

External Dam & Weir Removal Links

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20240229-why-europe-is-removing-its-dams


Tag: Dam & Weir Removal
Image attribution: A leaping salmon at Murray’s Cauld near Selkirk by Walter Baxter, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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