Europe is demolishing its dams to restore ecosystems
Most scientists welcome the dam-removal trend but some call for research into potential ill effects.
The Yecla de Yeltes Dam in western Spain supplied drinking water to local communities for half a century, until newer projects rendered it obsolete. Its demolition this month is the biggest dam-removal project in the European Union so far — and is being hailed by ecologists as a milestone for river-restoration efforts in the continent.
Such efforts are ramping up in many European countries — although some, notably those in the Balkan Peninsula, are on a dam-building spree. An initiative has begun to take the first continent-wide census of all dams. And although dam removal is generally welcomed by most scientists, some call for more research into potential ill effects.