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There are over 1.2 million dams in Europe that prevent fish from reaching their mating grounds and eliminate the flowing water that many species need. Over the past 50 years, the number of migratory fish species has decreased by 93 percent.
To solve this problem, a project, Dam Removal Europe, is underway to demolish dams and restore the flowing water. Now, of course, we still need dams such as important power plant dams, but Dam Removal Europe estimates that 15 percent of all dams are no longer needed.
The project has now released its latest report and it shows that 2021 was a record year for demolishing unnecessary dams.
During the year, 239 dams were demolished in the 17 countries participating in the project. This is an increase of 137 percent from 2020. The number of countries that demolished dams increased by 55 percent during the same period.
Spain was the country that demolished the most dams in 2021. There, a total of 108 dams were demolished. In second place came Sweden with 40 demolitions, closely followed by France with 39.
The project is ongoing and the goal is for the countries in Europe to eventually demolish all dams that are not absolutely necessary.