Standard Article

Dam Removal as River Restoration

Surface Water Hydrology

  1. Chih Ted Yang

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.sw123

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Yang, C. T. 2005. Dam Removal as River Restoration. Water Encyclopedia. 3:387–389.

Author Information

  1. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


A dam may be removed because of economic, safety, security, legal and financial liability, ecosystem restoration, fish passage improvement, site restoration, and recreation considerations. Sediments are trapped in reservoirs, and a detailed sediment management plan must be developed before a dam's removal. Dam removal can be an engineering method for river restoration. Because of the dynamic nature of river adjustments, compressive studies of possible responses of a river must be carried out before a dam's removal. The relationship between dam removal and sediment management alternatives should be analyzed to determine the optimum plan of action. A comprehensive monitoring program should be carried out during and after a dam's removal to determine impacts on the river system. Computer models in public domain are available to assist engineers in the determination of erosion, sediment transport, and deposition processes during and after a dam's removal.


  • dam removal;
  • dynamic adjustment;
  • computer model;
  • erosion;
  • river restoration;
  • sedimentation