Dams can mimic the free flow of rivers, but risks must be managed

Originally published as an Op-Ed on The Conversation.  Written by Matthew McCartney, CGIAR System Organization and Fritz Kleinschroth, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

In recent decades, humans have built many dams. These are designed to regulate flow for irrigation, hydropower and water supply. Most major rivers in the world are dammed.

But there are detriments to damming rivers. Many people depend on the natural ebb and flow of unrestricted rivers that swell with water in the rainy season and wane in the dry season. When…