Removing the Klamath dams

Removing the Klamath Dams — One part of the struggle

This is an excerpt of an article in Dam Nation: Dispatches from the Water Underground.

The Strategy

The story that follows tells how a coalition made up of the Yurok, Hupa, Karuk, and Klamath tribes; the Pacific Coast Commercial Fisherman’s Association; and the environmental group Friends of the River fought the relicensing of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River in the U.S. regulatory arena, the courts, and the public relations stage of multinational finance.

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Manufactured Greywater Systems

Typical manufactured systems filter and disinfect greywater, then use it to flush toilets. In most residential situations, it is more environmentally and economically beneficial to reuse greywater directly in the landscape, bypassing any type of manufactured system. In situations where there are large quantities of greywater produced, and not much irrigation need, it makes sense to treat the water and reuse it for toilet flushing. We don’t recommend any of these systems for typical residential situations. If a resident does not have outdoor irrigation need, however, then these kinds of systems can be appropriate.

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Dams and Dam Removal

Dams drove agricultural, industrial, and urban development in the West, but, by altering natural flow patterns and trapping sediment, created complex problems for migratory fish and downstream ecosystems. Since the late 1800s, 76,000 dams over six feet tall have been constructed in the contiguous U.S. A 2003 Heinz Foundation report estimated that by 2020, 80% of U.S. dams will reach the end of their design and regulatory lifespan.

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Composting Toilets

[img_assist|nid=86|title=|desc=Corn grown with urine-fertilizer. (photo by Peter Morgan, Aquamor)|link=node|align=left|width=125|height=100]The modern day sewer system has failed. Fortunately, we don’t need costly sewage plants or septic systems to render human waste into a harmless substance that, instead of being a problem, is a solution to problems of water shortages, water pollution, and reliance on chemical fertilizers.

This is ecological sanitation, taking care of our human sanitation needs in a way that is helpful, rather than harmful, to the environment.

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Greywater Reuse

[img_assist|nid=257|title=|desc=Greywater irrigated landscape|link=node|align=left|width=120|height=93]Greywater is water from your bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines. It is not water that has come into contact with feces, either from the toilet or from washing diapers.

Greywater may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, hair, and certain household cleaning products. While greywater may look “dirty,” it is a safe and even beneficial source of irrigation water in a yard. There are many simple, economical ways to reuse greywater in the landscape.

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