With the increasing population of the world, demands for basic necessities like potable water and food also increase. Climate change is not only one of the major problems in the world that continuously threatens the source of such basic necessities. There are also other environmental issues considered as a high concern.
Rivers serving as aquatic habitats and block fish migration helps both nature and people. However, due to man-made infrastructures, they are in danger. According to the new study published in the scientific journal Nature, two-thirds of the earth's longest river has been disrupted. Researchers of McGill University, World Wildlife Fund, and other institutions found out that one of the leading causes of the loss of river connectivity are dams, according to The Hill.
The presence of 60,000 large dams around the world and 3,700 more hydropower dams, both planned and under construction, has a negative impact on the river connectivity. In fact, 83% of freshwater species have experienced staggering since 1970 and will continue to decline affecting about 10 million lives whose livelihood depend on freshwater fish harvest. Moreover, deltas which are home to 500 million people will be affected since the sediments and nutrients are trapped in dams.
Alternative renewable energy can be utilized instead of hydropower dams such as solar and wind energy. Solar and wind energy do not only have a smaller environmental impact but they are also less expensive. The cost of solar energy is expected to decrease to 25% in the next five years while 40% decrease is expected from the use of wind energy.
Although removal of dams may seem a complicated decision to make, it will be worth it. Several private sectors in the United States (US) and around the world have taken a step and have considered the use of solar and wind energy. Aside from an increase in the global investments, solar photovoltaic installer and wind turbine technicians are considered to be the fastest growing American jobs between 2016 and 2026.
The US had already removed more than 1,500 dams like in Elwha River in Washington State making the nature bloom once again. Different projects that helped countries in developing climate-smart energy have been possible through the US like USAID's clean and energy and biodiversity conservation programs. Other projects include a partnership with Power African Initiative that help the African nations double their electricity access. Other companies are Millenium Challenge Corporation and the US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) that promote international security and economic growth.