Photo by Linda HeronPhoto Credit

Threats to Sources of Drinking Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Health in Canada, by Environment Canada – 2001

Environment Canada. 2001.  Threats to Sources of Drinking Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Health in Canada.   National Water Research Institute, Burlington, Ontario.  NWRI Scientific Assessment Report Series No. 1.  72p.  Page 69 – 15. Impacts of Dams/Diversions and Climate Change;  T.D. Prowse,1 J.M. Buttle,2 P.J. Dillon, 2 M.C. English, 3 P. Marsh, 1 J.P. Smol4 and F.J. Wrona1; 1Environment Canada, National Water Research Institute, Saskatoon, SK; 2Trent University, Peterborough, ON; 3Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON; 4Queen’s University, Kingston, ON.

Below is an excerpt:

“Most of our current knowledge of the impacts of water quantity changes on water quality is based on studies of the effects of Canada’s more than 600 dams and 60 large interbasin diversions, which makes the nation the world leader in water diversion (Day and Quinn 1992).  Most Canadian dams store water during peak flow periods and release flow to generate power during winter, low-flow periods.

Such changes to water quantity also modify various water quality parameters within the reservoir and downstream, the effects decreasing with distance from the impoundment.  Major examples include:

  • thermal stratification within the reservoir and modification of downstream water temperatures
  • eutrophication;
  • promotion of anoxic conditions in hypolimnetic water and related changes in metal concentrations in outflow;
  • increased methylation of mercury;
  • sediment retention;
  • associated changes in TDS, turbidity and nutrients in the reservoir and discharged water;
  • increased erosion/deposition of downstream sediments and associated contaminants.

For impoundments used for drinking water, intra-storage processes also have serious implications for the quality of drinking water.”


Fish-friendly Turbines – Test for evaluating the injuries suffered by downstream-migrating eels in their transiting through the new spherical discharge ring VLH turbogenerator unit installed on the Moselle River in Frouard

Written by T. Lagarrigue and A. Frey

Eels are an amphihaline migrating species classified as vulnerable and inscribed on the Red List at a national level. Considering the alarming decline in their population at the three continental phases of their biological cycle, the European Community has set a framework for the protection and the sustainable exploitation of the European eel stock through its September 2007 regulation (EC) n°1100/2007. This regulation especially provides for each member state to implement, as fast as possible, adapted measures to decrease the eel mortality resulting from factors unrelated to fishery, such as hydroelectric turbines. The installation of so-called “fish-friendly” turbines, to replace existing turbines or on new developments, is one possible solutions.

MJ2 Technologies has embarked on this path, and has been developing and marketing the very low head turbine, VLH, designed to comply with the main “fish-friendliness” criteria relative to the passing of fish through turbines. To evaluate the actual efficiency of the compliance with these theoretical criteria, the VLH has been submitted to 2 series of in-situ tests. The first tests have been carried out on the first VLH commissioned at the Troussy site, on the Tarn river closely upstream of Millau
(ECOGEA, 2007, 2008a, and 2008b). For an operation at full opening and full power, general mortality rates of 7.7% for adult silver eels (from 356 to 1045 mm; average size 846 mm) and 3.1% for Atlantic salmon smolts have thus been observed. These results already ranked the VLH as less penalizing than conventional Kaplan turbines. However, significant prospects of improvement of the “fishfriendliness” of the VLH had been brought to light during these first tests (mortalities mainly located at
the level of an area where the fish were “pinched” between the blade ends and the discharge ring).  Following these conclusions, MJ2 Technologies has decided to modify the hydraulic contour of its new VLHs (spherical contour at the discharge ring level) to attempt further decreasing the mortality caused to downstream-migrating fish. This new VLH has been installed in Frouard and submitted to this second series of tests, the main results of which are discussed in the present report. Continue reading

Ivanhoe River – The Chute: Xeneca response to Tony Godin

August 15, 2011:  “# 19. This Run of the river system which modifies the flow of the river at certain time of the day or night and with the combination of so many kilometers of inundation will render this river inaccessible to tourism, canoeists, naturalists and fishermen alike. By doing so how is Xeneca prepared to deal with this without forgetting the damage to the tourists that are already talking about not coming back to Foleyet area because the Ivanhoe wilderness is the one of the main reasons for making these long and costly trips?

Xeneca has been consistent and clear in stating that public access to the river will not be unduly impeded. Other than specific locations such as high voltage equipment and intake channels, access will remain or be enhanced. If portage routes or trails are affected, Xeneca requests input from affected stakeholders to avoid or mitigate the effect. And, as stated with the Waterpower Class EA, Xeneca will work with the recreational fishing community, tourism operators and other interested parties to ensure a) impacts to fisheries are minimum; b) access to those fishing areas are not impeded; and c) to facilitate improvements to accessing the fishery and maximizing tourism potential.” Continue reading

Ivanhoe River – The Chute: Xeneca Response to Foleyet Chamber of Commerce

August 17, 2011:


12. Who is going to pay for the extra cost under the FIT program? With $ .12 for regular power and $.185 for peak power guaranteed for 40 years. There is a considerable price difference between what we pay and what Xeneca will receive. Who is going to pay this difference? The price offered to Xeneca under contract is mixed in with all other sources of generation, including heritage assets that generate at 3 cents per kWh or in some cases less. The mix of both old and new nuclear, gas, biomass, wind, solar etc. will ultimately determine consumer cost. It may noteworthy that while 12 to 18 centre per kWh may seem expensive today, it may seem quite a bargain in 20 years and beyond. Xeneca’s contract is for 40 years. Continue reading

Xeneca Reply to G. Simmonds – Ivanhoe Lakes Cottagers’ Association

August 16, 2011:


Regarding impacts on Ivanhoe Lake, we would like to reiterate that operation of The Chute GS will not affect the lake and there are no plans to alter operating plans in a manner that would cause any effects. Similarly we do not anticipate any impact on the Town of Foleyet or its water treatment facilities.

The concerns you have raised regarding government energy and environmental policy are outside the scope of our Environmental Assessment, however we would respectfully suggest contacting the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), Ontario Power Authority (OPA), Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Environment. Continue reading

Ivanhoe River – The Chute Dam Proposal – Ivanhoe Lake Cottagers’ Association – Comments to Xeneca

August 14, 2011

Mr. Mark Holmes

Vice President, Corporate Affairs

Xeneca Power Development

Re: Proposed Generating stations on Ivanhoe River


The Ivanhoe Lake Cottagers’ Assoc. met and discussed the proposed generating stations planned for the Chute and Third Falls. The Ivanhoe Lake Cottagers’ Assoc. is a group comprised of approximately 60 landowners that are committed to the protection and preservation of Ivanhoe Lake and surrounding area. Based on the information provided by public information sessions and on a one on one meeting with Mr. Holmes we have unanimously agreed to oppose this development.

Foleyet and the surrounding townships are recognized as an unorganized part of the Province and as such receive next to nothing from the Provincial Government.  The community of Foleyet has a Local Service Board that struggles financially, barely able to provide any services to its residents. An example of this is the condition of its two fire trucks, they are old, in poor condition and one is not even serviceable. Foleyet and the surrounding area including the residents of Ivanhoe Lake have never received any attention from the Province until now. Unfortunately it is not to offer us any kind of services or provide better fire trucks or enhance the area. It is to destroy two of the most beautiful parts of the river and have us believe it is a necessity.

According to the Information available to us the Province of Ontario currently has an abundance of electrical power and is selling it to the United States. The stations they want to build on the Ivanhoe River will only generate enough power to serve 1500 homes. The Province will only see a profit of about 2 million dollars a year from these stations and yet the cost to build the stations will be over 20 million. The two stations will require a great deal of road construction and all year maintenance that will cost the tax payer millions and yield little in revenue. The Province did not request any reclamation plan or agreement from Xeneca to restore the area should the stations eventually fail or run their course of usefulness. Continue reading

Ivanhoe River – Third Falls and The Chute – Allen Comments to Xeneca on ER

William A. Allen

9 First Ave., Box 85

Burk’s Falls, ON P0A 1C0

August 12, 2011


Vanesa Enskaitis

Public Affairs and Stakeholder Relations

Xeneca Power Development

5160 Yonge Street, Suite 520

North York, ON  M2N 6L9

Ref: (416) 590-9362 X104; E-mail


Dear Ms. Enskaitis,

Re:          Ivanhoe River – Third Falls and The Chute


I write as a private citizen of Ontario, one of the citizens with whom Xeneca has made a “binding commitment” through the Class Environmental Assessment process. (Ref: The Chute Environmental Report [ER] Foreword, unnumbered page F4). I write in open format to share with others who may be interested.

Thanks for informing me on July 28 that Xeneca has issued a NOC for Ivanhoe: The Chute and for referring me to your website for details. I am working my way through the documentation. I also am awaiting responses to queries I have made to certain government officials who are familiar with The Chute file and to the Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA). Those queries cover issues relevant to the ER and also, in some cases, requests for face to face meetings. I also am awaiting the finalization of plans to make another personal visit to the Ivanhoe River Watershed.

Please register my name as a stakeholder for both hydroelectric development proposals on the Ivanhoe River, namely Third Falls and The Chute.

I am not satisfied with either The Chute proposal or the evaluation process evident to date. I have numerous concerns about the Environmental Report Ivanhoe River – The Chute. Because of the sheer volume of my concerns at this time I will issue an initial list of concerns and numbered questions to allow Xeneca time to  answer those questions and attempt to resolve my initial concerns. I also will identify further concerns in the days ahead. Continue reading

Currie – Comments to Xeneca – Ivanhoe River, The Chute Hydro-electric Proposal

August 11, 2011

Vanesa Enskaitis

Public Affairs Liaison

Xeneca Power Development Inc.

T: 416-590-9362 X 104


Dear Ms. Enskaitis:

Please find enclosed my response to the two volumes of the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Chute generating plant.


I have come to the conclusion after reviewing the EA report for the Chute GS Project that there are many unresolved issues.  Some of these deficiencies are permits not acquired; field studies still on going, and information gathered that has not been completed.

This report seems to have been fast tracked for what reason, political or financial, definitely not for the social and environmental impact on the river.

Issues to be addressed

1.     The inundation distance for the Chute and Third Falls are a moving target.  The Chute has changed from 2.8 km to 6.4 km and the Third Falls proposal is up in the air from 14 km to 30 km which would flood to the base of the Chute.  With an inundation distance now of a total of 36.4 km, should these tow dams that are operating in tandem be assessed under one EA. Continue reading