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Silenced Rivers: The Ecology and Politics of Large Dams


This illuminating book provides a clear and disturbing breakdown of the impacts of large dams, on the environment, people and the planet.  McCully presents the stark facts directly: More than 400,000 square kilometres – the area of California – have been inundated behind the world’s 40,000 large dams. Dams are the main reason why one–fifth of the world’s freshwater fish is now either endangered or extinct. The number of people flooded off their lands because of dams is certainly in the tens of millions – 30 million would be a conservative estimate, 60 million more likely.  McCully explores the reasons why dams are built, the impacts they have on the ecological systems they invade and the growth and development of the anti-dam movement.

This is essential reading for anyone interested in freshwater systems and how we use water.  McCully is campaigns director for the International Rivers Network, which also has a useful website with more facts and information about the threats to our rivers,

Patrick McCully, 2001, Zed Books (London) in association with the International Rivers Network and The Ecologist
Also in Spanish Ríos Silenciados: Ecología y Política de las Grandes Represas