9 Stories

SC Devastated Yet Again as 18 Dams Let Loose

Governor says it may just be start of crisis after 'storm of historic proportions'

(Newser) - Eleven deaths have been reported and at least 18 South Carolina dams have breached or failed completely since Saturday, per the state's emergency management agency, leaving the region reeling in the aftermath of its torrential weekend storm , CNN reports. Of the 11 deaths, seven were from drowning and four... More »

New Climate Change Culprit: Beavers

Numbers are rising as dammed ponds release methane into atmosphere

(Newser) - We were just trying to help. Turns out the efforts of humankind to save beavers from extinction over the past century have had an eco-unfriendly side effect: The animals, whose population has rebounded, are contributing to climate change, researchers say at EurekAlert . Beaver dams create shallow ponds, which can host... More »

FBI Charges NOAA Worker With Swiping Data on Dams

Sherry Chen's arrest raises security concerns

(Newser) - A worker at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been arrested and charged with stealing data on US dams, which Dayton Daily News reports carries "deep security implications" for the nation's power grid. Xiafen "Sherry" Chen has also been accused of lying to federal officials about... More »

ISIS' New Weapon: Water

Insurgents commandeering precious commodity to strengthen position

(Newser) - Even when ISIS militants can't maintain control of Iraq's cities and villages, they have another weapon at their disposal: water. The insurgents are increasingly cutting off water to villagers, extorting local governments, and flooding homes, schools, and farms in an effort to gain the upper hand by usurping... More »

America, Tear Down Your Useless Dams

Yvon Chouinard: Removing them is much better than repairing them

(Newser) - American engineers have long loved their dams, but Yvon Chouinard writes in the New York Times that we should be tearing down these aging concrete behemoths instead of repairing them. Of the 80,000 or so dams in the nation, 26,000 pose serious safety hazards, he writes, and only... More »

Drying Euphrates Cripples Iraq

Turkish, Syrian dams, Iraqi practices blamed

(Newser) - Iraqis are suffering as the Euphrates river dwindles, a result of Turkish and Syrian dams upstream, a 2-year drought, and Iraqi’s own mismanagement of its water supply, the New York Times reports. Farmers and fishermen have been ruined and key grain-growing land desiccated. “The old men say it’... More »

Pacific Salmon Face Uncertain Tides

Oceanic changes doomed '08 crop, but scientists can't agree on what caused them

(Newser) - West Coast fisheries has seen a 90% drop in salmon spawn since 2004, and while many blame rivers degraded by dams and diversions, some experts believe the problem has been pushed out to sea, reports Salon. Wind direction and water temperature have changed, bringing less food to the ocean’s... More »

Burst Dams New Peril in Quake Aftermath

Flooding could hurt rescue efforts — or kill more, China warns

(Newser) - Chinese authorities are warning of possible flooding and further destruction caused by bursting dams in the aftermath of Monday's catastrophic earthquake, Reuters reports. "The most dangerous problems are several reservoirs near Wenchuan," about 30 miles northwest of the ruined city of Dujiangyan, one official said. The Zipingpu dam,... More »

Javanese Can't Stop the Mud

1½-year-old deluge of mud keeps on flowing

(Newser) - A toxic mud volcano has been flowing on the Indonesian island of Java for 18 months, and authorities are stuck. Since an energy company opened an underground fissure while drilling for natural gas, 11 villages have been swamped by the ooze. Plugging the hole with air-dropped concrete balls and hiring... More »

9 Stories