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Apr 19, 2024 | News

Europe demolished a record number dams

In Europe, the year has been another good one for removing river barriers. Nearly 500 have been removed in 15 different countries.

The latest statistics are from Dam Removal Europe, a coalition of river activists and conservation groups that aim to reverse biodiversity losses by restoring free-flowing waters. DRE reported that 487 dams and culverts were removed in 2023, an increase of nearly 50% over the previous year. France was first with 156 barriers taken down. The UK ranked fifth with 36.

Overall, the initiatives reconnected 2,672 miles (4,300 km) of waterways and improved safety, as well as habitats. For the first time, DRE’s annual report collected data on the dangers that dams pose for recreational river users. It linked them to 129 deaths in recent years.

“From France to Finland communities, companies, and countries are investing to remove outdated and increasingly dangerous barriers to improve river quality for people and the environment,” said Herman Wanningen.

Image: Catalan Water Agency

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