Perera, D. and North, T. (2021) The Socio-Economic Impacts of Aged-Dam Removal: A Review. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 9, 62-78. doi: 10.4236/gep.2021.910005.
Water storage dams worldwide are ageing, and many will reach the end of their designed lifespan by the middle of the 21st century. Some of these dams will likely need to be removed. While dam construction impacts have been widely discussed, dam removal impacts on society and the economy need to be synthesized and considered in the ageing dams’ decision-making process. This paper summarizes dam removal impacts on the local economy and industry, culture, history and heritage, property value, recreation, aesthetics, and disaster avoidance from identified studies worldwide. It demonstrates that these impacts may vary depending on geography and between developed and developing countries. It concludes that dam removal should consider the cost, environmental, and the socio-economic impacts while including all stakeholders who could be positively and negatively impacted by dam removal.