"I don’t know why we keep building these fucking dams,” Adams said in a surprisingly forceful British whisper. “Not only do they cause environmental and social disasters, they, with very few exceptions, all fail to do what they were supposed to do in the first place. Look at the Amazon, where they’ve all silted up. What is the reaction to that? They’re going to build another eighty of them. It’s just balmy. We must have beaver genes or something. . . . There’s just this kind of sensational desire to build dams, and maybe that should be looked at and excised from human nature. Maybe the Human Genome Project can locate the beaver/dam-building gene and cut that out." - Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

"By erecting thirty thousand dams of significant size across the American West, they dewatered countless rivers, wiped out millions of acres of riparian habitat, shut off many thousands of river miles of salmon habitat, silted over spawning beds, poisoned return flows with agricultural chemicals, set the plague of livestock loose on the arid land--in a nutshell they made it close to impossible for numerous native species to survive." - Marc Reisner

"Dams also tend to be built in remote areas which are the last refuge for species that have been displaced by development in other regions." - Patrick McCully

DamNation | The Problem with Hydropower

This film explores the evolution of our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of wild rivers.

Produced by Matt Stoecker & Travis Rummel
Directed by Ben Knight & Travis Rummel