Healthy rivers are critical for supporting life on Earth. Big dams make it harder for people and ecosystems downstream of dams to adapt to climate change by reducing water quality and quantity, drying up forests and wetlands, flooding productive land, and destroying fisheries.
Hundreds of large dams are proposed in areas where climate change could bring great hydrological uncertainty. While there is much uncertainty in climate science, one thing is clear: it's the wrong climate for damming rivers.
First, big dams are at huge risk from climate change's impacts on river flows. Equally important, healthy rivers are also key to successful climate adaptation, especially for the world's poorest, who are also at greatest risk of climate change. Finally, large reservoirs can be significant sources of greenhouse gases.
International Rivers is working to raise capacity on this critical issue globally and in dam-building regions, and promoting an energy revolution that allows us to dramatically cut our use of fossil fuels, while also preserving life-giving water resources.
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