Civil engineering professors seek to answer this question in new published article.
Civil and Construction Engineering professors Dr. Rob Sowby and Dr. Rollin Hotchkiss explore the question in a new open-access forum article, Minimizing Unintended Consequences of Water Resources Decisions, published in ASCE's Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.
"We have made immense advances in supplying reliable water, preventing floods, and improving water quality, but we have experienced some unwanted, unintended consequences along the way," they write, like dams that prevent passage of sediment downstream and movement of fish upstream.
Their article "suggests how a humble perspective about decisions in the past, an expanded search for potential problems going forward, and positive examples of addressing challenges in the present can advance the field."