02 Aug '13, 3pm

Small hydro: worse than megadams? @oregonstateuniv

Reserve judgment on China’s mega dams—a new study finds small hydro projects are causing more ecological damage. By Candace Pearson A tributary of the Nu River is left almost completely dry downstream from a small dam in Lushui County, China. A five-year study conducted in China’s Nu River basin by researchers at Oregon State University suggests that the cumulative effects of small hydropower projects cause more ecological damage per megawatt produced than large dams. Small hydro, big impacts Researchers compared 31 small dams (defined as less than 50 megawatts) with four large dams. When they estimated the area of riparian and terrestrial habitat lost to produce one megawatt of power, they found that small hydropower projects were 100 times more detrimental to habitat diversity than large dams. Since small projects usually divert the flow of rivers to hydropower stations,...

Full article: http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2013/8/1/Sm...

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