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May 30 2013

Small dams on Chinese river harm environment more than expected


A fresh look at the environmental impacts of dams on an ecologically diverse and partially protected river in China found that small dams can pose a greater threat to ecosystems and natural landscapes than large dams.

Large dams have been considered more harmful than their smaller counterparts.

But researchers' surveys of habitat loss and damage at several dam sites on the Nu River and its tributaries in Yunnan Province revealed that the environmental effects of small dams are often greater—sometimes by several orders of magnitude—than of large dams.

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