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Beyond Dams, Options & Alternatives
 Beyond Dams: Options & Alternatives Released
May 2004

By design, dams alter the natural flow regime, and with it virtually every aspect of a river ecosystem, including water quality, sediment transport and deposition, fish migrations and reproduction, and riparian and floodplain habitat and the organisms that rely on this habitat.

The purpose of this report is to provide stakeholders and decision–makers with an overview of low–impact and non–structural alternatives to dams. It is designed as a reference for anyone interested in exploring options for replacing a function served by an existing dam or replacing a function to be served by a dam.

 Table of Contents



Water Supply

    Water Diversion & Irrigation Methods
  • Infiltration Galleries & Wells
  • Screened Intake Pipes
  • Seasonal Dams
  • Consolidated Diversions
  • Field Practices
  • Management Strategies
  • System Modifications
    Sustainable Water Management Alternatives
  • Urban Design & Infrastructure
  • Rainwater Harvesting
  • Recycled (Gray) Water
  • Conservation Pricing
  • Water–Saving Devices
  • Desalination Plants

Flood Management

    Reducing Runoff
  • Urban Areas
  • Screened Intake Pipes
  • Agricultural Areas
    Riparian & In–River Flood Management
  • Breaching or Setting Back Levees
  • Restoring Meanders
  • Constructing Bypass Channels
  • Restoring Vegetated Banks & Wetlands
    Separating the People & the Threat
  • Flood Proofing
  • Resettlement


    End–Use Efficiency
    Emerging Technologies
  • Wind Power
  • Solar Power
  • Fuel Cells & Microtrubines

Concluding Thoughts

 Additional Information
  • Visit: American Rivers, dedicated to protecting and restoring healthy, natural rivers and the variety of life they sustain for people, fish and wildlife.
  • Report by the World Commission on Dams: Dams and Development, A New Framework For Decision–Making

For further information, please contact: