Tag Archives: dams

So What’s the Dam Problem

Well there are several problems, but we may as well start with the root of the problem, and that is a provincial government bent on building its reputation as a Green Energy leader, and attracting big business into this Province to exploit  its resources and sell off Crown land to private companies. Democracy for the people and protecting our environment and natural resources isn’t high on their list of priorities.  “Ontario is open for business.”

Currently there are 86 hydroelectric dam proposals going through the approvals process in the Province of Ontario, and the 2005 Hatch Acres Report lists about 600 potential sites.  Many of these dams are slated for “modified peaking”, a method of holding water back for up to 48 hours in head ponds, for release during peak demand hours.  So that leads us to the next on our list of problems…. Continue reading



Pimicikamak Okimawin opposed to Northern Manitoba dams

Excerpt – Read full article here.

 - Ivan Moose of Fox Lake Cree Nation speaks in front of a Pimicikamak flag outside the Mystery Lake Hotel in Thompson May during a protest against Manitoba Hydro’s dam development plans organized by Pimicikamak Okimawin while the Public Utilities Board was hearing from presenters inside as part of the Needs For and Alternatives To Review (NFAT) of ?the Crown corporation’s preferred development plan. - Nickel Belt News photo by Ian Graham

Members of Pimicikamak Okimawin – the traditional government of Pimicikamak, an indigenous nation that includes but is not equivalent to Cross Lake First Nation – and other Northern Manitoba communities affected by flooding from the building of Manitoba Hydro dams in the past gathered at the Mystery Lake Hotel in Thompson, which is owned by Nisichawaysihk Cree Nation, on May to voice their opposition to further dam-building while the Public Utilities Board was hearing presentations from the public inside as part of the Needs For and Alternatives To Review (NFAT) of the Crown corporation’s preferred development plan.

“Hydro talks about partnerships with First Nations,” said a printed copy of remarks made by Pimicikamak vice-chief Shirley Robinson, who spoke at the gathering. “But its northern partners only make up about one-third of hydro-affected Aboriginal people in the north. For two thirds of us – in Cross Lake, South Indian Lake, Norway House, Grand Rapids, Easterville and Moose Lake – this so-called new era is just the same as the old era. It is an era of disrespect.”

“Our people have said no more dams, our elders have spoken, our women have spoken,” said David Lee Roy Muswaggon, a member of Pimicikamak’s executive council, which along with the women’s council, elders’ council and youth council make up the First Nation’s traditional government structure. “They said no more dams because in the Northern Flood agreement they said, they promised to assess the cumulative effects of existing dams today. We can’t keep building dams without knowing what damage has been done to the current river and lake system for people that do not hunt, fish or trap. Thousands of miles have been eroded. The ecosystem has been destroyed and decimated. Spawning grounds, everything. Our fish are no longer healthy. Our animals are no longer healthy. People need to understand that hydro is not clean and green.” Continue reading



American Eel Recovery Strategy – EBR Posting 012-0405 – ORA Submission

American Eel

Excerpt:

“American Eels were once abundant in the upper St. Lawrence River, Ottawa River, Lake Ontario, and their tributaries, and in fact were so plentiful that they were an invaluable source of sustenance to First Nation communities and early European settlers, and more recently supported thriving commercial and sports fisheries.  This all changed with the advent of a multitude of hydroelectric dams constructed within the historic range of the species.

Key to the American Eel’s survival and recovery is its ability to migrate to its spawning area in the Sargasso Sea, near Bermuda.  This is a perilous journey that only a very small percentage ever complete due to the cumulative effects of the numerous hydroelectric facilities that have killed, maimed, and cut off migration to their spawning area.  Consequently their once thriving populations have been reduced to a mere one percent of their original numbers.” Continue reading




Vocal Vibes Interview – Deep Waters

Ella Lake – Blue Green Algae Bloom lasted from November 2012 to May 2013

Deep Waters – the latest edition of Vocal Vibes Podcast

Vocal Vibes recently interviewed Linda Heron, Chair of the Vermilion River Stewardship and the Ontario Rivers Alliance.

We all live in a watershed.  That’s not something most North Americans think about, even though we turn on our taps many times a day, wash our cars, fertilize our lawns, or throw away toxic substances.  The Deep Waters edition of Vocal Vibes dives into water quality, a type of bloom that you don’t want, and small victories.

Click here to listen to the interview.

 

 

 


The World Commission on Dams

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThe World Commission on Dams (WCD) was formed in April 1997, to research the environmental, social and economic impacts of the development of large dams globally. The WCD consisted of members of civil society, academia, the private sector, professional associations and one government representative.

Its members acted in an individual capacity, not representing the organizations or governments of which they were members. The commissioners were: Kader Asmal, Lakshmi Chand Jain, Judy Henderson, Göran Lindahl, Thayer Scudder, Joji Cariño, Donald Blackmore, Medha Patkar, José Goldemberg, Deborah Moore, Jan Veltrop and Achim Steiner.[1] It was chartered to measure the impacts and effectiveness of large dam development, including the effect on dam affected communities and project developers. The ultimate outcome of the WCD was to issue a final report which was launched under the patronage of Nelson Mandela in November 2000. The WCD established the most comprehensive guidelines for dam building to date and issued ten key recommendations.[2]

Key WCD Recommendations

  1. Development needs and objectives should be clearly formulated through an open and participatory process, before various project options are identified.
  2. A balanced and comprehensive assessment of all options should be conducted, giving social and environmental aspects the same significance as technical, economic and financial factors.
  3. Before a decision is taken to build a new dam, outstanding social and environmental issues from existing dams should be addressed, and the benefits from existing projects should be maximized.
  4. All stakeholders should have the opportunity for informed participation in decision-making processes related to large dams through stakeholder fora. Public acceptance of all key decisions should be demonstrated. Decisions affecting indigenous peoples should be taken with their free, prior and informed consent.
  5. The project should provide entitlements to affected people to improve their livelihoods and ensure that they receive the priority share of project benefits (beyond compensation for their losses). Affected people include communities living downstream of dams and those affected by dam-related infrastructure such as transmission lines and irrigation canals.
  6. Affected people should be able to negotiate mutually agreed and legally enforceable agreements to ensure the implementation of mitigation, resettlement and development entitlements.
  7. The project should be selected based on a basin-wide assessment of the river ecosystem and an attempt to avoid significant impacts on threatened and endangered species.
  8. Mechanisms to ensure compliance with regulations and negotiated agreements should be developed and budgeted for, compliance mechanisms should be established, and compliance should be subject to independent review.
  9. A dam should not be constructed on a shared river if other riparian States raise an objection that is upheld by an independent panel.

Save Wabagishik Rapids – Vermilion River

Wabagishik Rapids is a beautiful 1 km stretch of rapids on the Vermilion River, about 1/2 hour west of Sudbury, Ontario.  A developer is proposing to build a modified run of river hydroelectric dam that would produce enough power to supply about 1,600 homes.  These types of dams have numerous negative impacts associated with them, and are very harmful to the riverine ecosystem.   Check out this film to find out more.

Full length film:

Short – 13 Minute Version:

Short 3 Minute preview of the full version:

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