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Another cool dam removal video

Here is a cool dam removal video I just watched yesterday:

It’s for the Elwha River in Washington State. You know, although environmentalists are probably very excited about this, my guess is that there are engineers and people who like explosives who are also excited by this. The comment at the very end of the video is great — I bet the people who built this never thought someone would be trying to take it down with dynamite one day.

It’s probably true — I happen to be doing a lot of research on early hydropower in this country, and the mood at the time was that hydropower was the greatest unrenewable energy resource that could provide unlimited energy for this country, and should be developed as completely as possible. The people making the policies at the time probably never even conceived of possibly removing dams for environmental reasons. But, what they did think about was the fact that there might be unforeseen or unpredictable conditions in the future which might mean that future generations would need to make changes. And so they built into their policies the ability for future generations to make those changes.

Although they might be shocked to see what’s happening to some of the dams in this country, I would bet that the people who passed the Federal Water Power Act (now Federal Power Act) might be pretty excited to know that the policies they put in place to give future generations some flexibility were very wise and forward looking. Now, we just need to make sure we do the same for the generations that will come after us!

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