Embankment Dam: Leave It Alone!
You've decided to listen to the mining company president and advise him to leave the dam alone. The dam collapses, and poisonous sludge oozes into a nearby stream. Tons of fish die, and toxic waste poisons the drinking water of thousands of people in the local village. The sludge also buries dozens of homes and ruins acres and acres of farmland.
In January 2000, a disaster like this happened at the Baia Mare Tailings Dam in Romania. A tailings dam is a type of embankment dam, designed to contain mining waste. Melting snow and pounding rain caused the wall of the dam to give way, releasing tons of cyanide into a local stream. The cyanide poisoned the drinking water of more than two million people in neighboring Hungary. Today, an international coalition of governments is working to make tailings dams safer for the environment and for local communities.