Roller-compacted concrete at the stilling basin on the south bank of the Peace River for the Site C dam, September 2017. (B.C. Hydro)

LETTER: Dam impact exagerated

Art Bickerton claims in his letter to the editor that 31,000 acres of farmland will be flooded by the narrow reservoir behind the Site C dam.

Art Bickerton claims in his letter to the editor that 31,000 acres of farmland will be flooded by the narrow reservoir behind the Site C dam.

Yet James D. Anderson, a person very familiar with the narrow valley and farmland there, is in print stating that only 4,000 acres with actual agricultural potential will be flooded – of which only 1,000 is under cultivation today and that only for animal food.

A possible source of error is incompetent reading of a report by the University of Northern B.C. Researchers attempted an analysis of the amount of farmland to be flooded but basic checking of reality showed their analysis was very wrong – yet they didn’t have money left to figure out why. Their report clearly states that the value from the analysis is wrong, yet some eco-activists quote the erroneous amount. Note the river canyon is narrow in that area.

The campaign by eco-activists against the Site C dam is strange, given that hydro-electric power comes from a renewable source called precipitation (though eco-activists disingenuously claim it is not) whereas alternatives like solar and wind are a very small proportion of actual generation, will remain so due to the area of installations required to meet demand and their cost, and need expensive storage systems to provide electricity when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

PS: Bickerton says the Mica dam project flooded 8,000 square miles of forest and farmland – the 31,000 acres claimed by Bickerton for Site C farmland only is 48 square miles. (640 acres per square mile, 2.47 acres per hectare, rounding applied]

Keith Sketchley

Saanich

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