IN ORDER To MEET FUTURE WATER demands, Cumberland County in North Carolina, US is considering the need for building a dam on the Cape Fear river. However, critics contend that dams adversely affect the environment and compromise water quality. A number of endangered fish species live in the Cape Fear river which would complicate such a project. Some species, including the American shad, swim up the river each year to spawn. While about 1.7M people live in the Cape Fear river basin, which stretches from Greensboro to Southport, the river provides drinking water for about 20% of North Carolina’s residents. The watershed’s population is expected to reach 2.1M by 2020.