The Columbia is one of the most hydro-dammed river basins in the world with some dams now over 70 years old. These dams change downstream water flows, and stop fish migrations. They are also buckling under decades of accumulated polluted sediment. The pressure is on for decommissioning many of these older dams, and 2 large ones on the Columbia have been removed recently – keeping the decades of that polluted sediment behind them from rushing downstream.
The Columbia is typical of many rivers that are heavily polluted by agriculture, industry, nuclear plants, livestock farms, and human waste. And now many of those pollutants are too deeply embedded for us to remove.
Nature could have done that clean-up job, but we’ve destroyed too many of the natural filters that would freely purify our dirty water: forest, wetlands, oysters…
- U.S. town prepares to sue B.C. mining giant over alleged smelter pollution (theprovince.com)
- Columbia River Basin is a valuable resource for people and wildlife (blogs.seattletimes.com)