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Introduction The earliest remains of dams that archaeologists have unearthed date back to around 5000 ADThey were constructed as part of a domestic water supply system for the ancient town of Jawa in Jordan Over the next few millennia the building of dams for water retention spread throughout the Mediterranean the Middle East Southern Asia China and Central America Later as technologies increased and industrialization took hold in Europe dam mechanisms advanced to incorporate watermills With the advent of the water turbine in 1832 and developments in electrical engineering the first hydropower plant began running in Wisconsin in 1882 IRN n pag Over the next few decades while structural engineering techniques improved dams multiplied in size strength and numbers worldwide Today although the construction of new dams is halting albeit with less vigor in underdeveloped countries de Villiers 146 Pielou 206 they are still being built around the globe for a multitude of social and economical reasons flood control hydroelectric power production river navigation irrigation human consumption industrial use emergency water reservation tourism and flat-water recreation eg NPDP n pag Trout Unlimited 11 For all the benefits that dams provide however there are adverse effects and concerns that arise from manipulating the environment in such an unnatural manner Impacts of Dams on the Hydrologic Regime Dams are ultimately created as a water reservoir This impounding of water impedes the circulation of a river and subsequently changes the hydrology and ecology of the river system and its contiguous environments Behind a dam the rise in water level submerges the landscape often displacing people and engorging culturally valuable ruins Furthermore biodiversity of the region is constrained by the destruction of vegetation and loss or extinction of wildlife Power et al 887-895 In essence both the aquatic and land-based ecosystems are damaged by the advent of a dam Pielou 209 Upstream of the barricade the once flowing water that housed the riverine habitat
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