How hydropower dams impact the communities they’re built in

Over the last two decades, almost 1,000 hydropower dams have been built around the globe. And while these dams provide many benefits to farmers, wildlife and the climate, the costs of their construction on local communities where they are built has largely been left out of the conversation—that is, until now.

Led by Dr. Peilei Fan, a team of six Michigan State University —including doctoral student Myung Sik Cho, Drs. Zihan Lin, Jiaguo Qi, Jiquan Chen and Emilio Moran—and Stanford University researcher Dr. Zutao Ouyang found that despite the overall positive impact that  have on the globe and countries as a whole, communities in the immediate areas surrounding dams often experience worse economic conditions, population relocation and/or a loss of green spaces due their construction.

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Liz Schondelmayer, Michigan State University