Nectar Gan writes in CNN that the summer’s record rains expose the Three Gorges Dam’s limited ability to control floods:

Some geologists say instead of relying on dams to stop flooding, we should give rivers space and allow them to expand during the flood season. “Large alluvial rivers naturally flood during the wet season. Floodwater is not a problem, that’s simply what rivers do. The problem is when you have a lot of people living in the areas that are subject to flooding.”

Many dams in the northwestern coast of the US were actually removed because they blocked the migration of fish from the ocean up the rivers, causing their populations to drop. In the southeast of the country, upstream dams in the mountains created environmental problems, driving fish species to extinction, causing water pollution, and the recession of coastlines due to the blocking of sediments.

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