Some of the major environmental problems that hydroelectric power plants can cause are:
The flooding of large areas of land, which were previously forested or used for agriculture, by the creation of dams and reservoirs.
Disrupting fish populations by hindering their travels upstream to spawn, and making travelling downstream more dangerous. This has been at least partially mitigated by providing fish safe upstream and downstream passageways.
Damaging downstream habitats by diverting or restricting water flow.
Diminishing the quality of the water by reducing its dissolved oxygen content and increasing the amount of unwanted bacteria, weeds and algae.
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