Scientists have long suspected that the world’s dams can create their own weather, often bringing more rain. Water in reservoirs behind dams, plus the water used to irrigate nearby land puts more moisture in the air, which falls as precipitation.
Now some researchers are sounding the alarm that dams—along with their reservoirs—might also trigger more frequent fierce storms that could be the dams’ undoing. That’s worrisome, especially in the United States, where dams are rapidly aging, according to some researchers.
Faisal Hossain, an engineer at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, has led several recent studies on 633 dams and about 100 rainfall nearby stations.