How Dams Are Reshaping the World for the Better and Worse

Dams cause earthquakes but they also produce much-needed energy.

Did you know that China’s Three Gorges Dam is so massive that it slows the Earth’s rotation? When the dam is at full capacity, its reservoir holds 42 billion tons of water which is actually enough to slow the planet’s rotation, increasing the length of a day by 0.06 microseconds. 

This small fact illustrates just one of the many ways dams reshape our world. Dams have both good and bad consequences, and in this video, we explore them all.

Let's start with the bad. Between 2000 and 2009, more than 200 dam failures occurred across the world, triggered by everything from earthquakes to human error. There are also more than 100 cases of earthquakes that have been caused by dams.

However, there aren't just dam failures around the globe, there are many dam successes. Reservoirs created by dams help control flooding. They fill valleys in a manner that allows them to be used for boating, fishing, and other human recreation. Dams also provide much-needed electricity.

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So are dams good or bad? This question is hard to answer but in certain areas dams are actually quite necessary. Watch this video to find out both sides of dams and judge for yourself.

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