Large dams interrupt the flow of a river, causing soil erosion downstream and pollution upstream, contributing greatly to the desertification of the planet.

Blue Gold features Helen Sarkinos of River Alliance of Wisconsin, who works to decommission dams in Wisconsin and world-wide. Helen explains that rivers carry nutrients which are important for soil to grow food and allow rainwater to recharge the aquifer. A dam stops these nutrients, causing soil erosion, failure of crops, and hard desert land which does not allow rain to soak into the ground. Rainwater creates flash floods which drain to the sea. Upstream, the rise of water behind the dam collects mercury and other contaminants as it floods the land. As this water remains stagnant, oxygen dies and water pollution results.

Politically, dams are used by governments to stop water flow into neighboring countries, make money with corrupt construction deals, and even control the local population by controlling the water flow. Thus they are a major source of water wars.

Although it was not the case when the hydroelectric dams were built, there are now plenty of alternate energy sources that allows us to remove the dams and return the rivers and water cycle to normal.


Decommission large hydroelectric dams in favor of alternate energy technology.


Support those who are fighting to decommission dams.


Take Action:

  1. Support River Alliance of Wisconsin and others fighting to remove dams.
  2. Write your government and to protest your local dams. Let politicians know that as a voter you are aware of the problem and demand they help.
  3. The Blue Alternative was created in order to counter a huge dam in Slovakia. See how and why they did it.
  4. Learn more at Frequently Asked Questions of dam removal.

Support and implement alternate energy sources.

Before we can realistically remove hydroelectric dams, we must set up alternate energy sources. To do so, we must respect that hydroelectric dams are technological wonders and were built when they were the best technology available and when we were unaware of their negative water-crisis impact. That has now changed, so should we.


Take Action:

Write your government and ask they implement the below renewable energy technologies.

  1. Free Flowing Water Power
    1. Microturbines use the power of rivers without blocking their flow
    2. Underwater Wave Farms uses the tide of earth’s oceans, one of the most consistent forces at play
    3. Biomimicry
  2. Wind
    1. Wind-Free Wind Farms use stored compressed air
    2. Windscraper
    3. Oceanic Wind Farms take advantage of the fact that wind is stronger at sea
    4. Urban Wind Turbines would convert downtown London to renewable energy
    5. Highway Billboard Wind Turbines Powered by Passing Vehicles
  3. Solar
    1. Solar Chimney is able to generate 200MW of electricity equaling enough power to roughly 200,000 households
    2. Solar Tracking Systems
    3. Budget-Friendly Snap Together Home Solar Panels
    4. 50 Low-Key Solar Panels
  4. Other sources
    1. Windbelt Power uses energy that causes the buckling of a bridge can be tapped
    2. Geothermal Power extracted from heat stored in the earth
    3. Landfill Gas Power Plants turns waste into energy
    4. Biomass Energy from plant material and animal waste

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