Hydropower, river navigation, irrigation, and flood protection have all caused interference in the natural flow of rivers. They have been dammed, straightened, deepened, diverted, and cut off from their natural floodplains.
While some water infrastructure may be useful, such massive engineering schemes also cause irreparable ecological damage. They disrupt natural flooding cycles, reduce flows, drain wetlands, and inundate important habitats.
The result of all this? Biodiversity loss, the intensification of floods, and destruction of people’s livelihoods. Sometimes without even delivering the economic benefits promised by the infrastructure project at the outset.