Wow! Have I opened a Pandora’s Box with regard to Dams! The dams that I am opposed to are the 3000 MW generating dams in Quebec. These large dams have wreaked havoc on the James Bay area, displacing Cree Indians, eliminating their fishing livelihood, ruining back country tourism, and destroying the wildlife that depended on the rivers. There’s nothing renewable about that. No rains will replace those loses.
The Canadian government acted in violation of treaties with 5,000 Cree and 3500 Inuit in a pressured deal with them. I don’t want to support that project, even as a line through NH to supply CT and MA, not only because it’s had such a lethal effect on Canada and Canadians; it has the long range potential to put our small dams out of business and discourage our exploration of other forms of renewable energy.
I appreciate Jeremy Rifkin’s book, The Third Industrial Revolution. In it, he talks about autonomous municipalities of the future, which is what we essentially have in the NH small dam configurations. Most generate between 1-18 MW. Fifteen Mile Falls Dam, at the head of the Connecticut river, the largest dam in NH, generates 192 MW and is owned by TransCanada Hydro Northeast.
Hydro-Quebec’s Plan Nord is an example of a huge monopoly designed to control large areas. Whoever controls the water, food and energy, controls the people consuming it. Think about that. If the NP goes through, what do you think Hydro-Quebec’s long range plan is for the Androscoggin River in NH? Or, TransCanada Hydro’s plan for the Connecticut River?
Whether building a new dam, maintaining an existing dam, dredging or selectively dismantling a dam that has outlived it’s usefulness, several factors need to be considered. Smaller dams in NH provide fire protection, flood control, hydropower and water supply.
Many have been in place for over 30 years and wildlife has evolved over time that is compatible with changes caused by the dam.
NH Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) notes that some dams that are old, unsafe and uneconomical, may be good candidates for removal. DES refers to studies that show repairing such a dam can often cost three times more than removing the dam and that there are many more potential funding sources both private and public, that can help offset the removal costs and river restoration projects than are available for repair.
I continue to oppose construction of new large dams without consideration for the effect such a dam will have on our future water supply, the nutrients rivers need to thrive, the relocation of residents, their livelihoods, wildlife habitat, and recreation.
If we want to keep each other well, we need to take care of our water. We are only one of nature’s species, and our decisions will have immediate effects for us all. Like it or not, we can’t afford to turn a blind eye on any aspect of our water supply.