×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Engine-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Engine-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

British Columbia site C hydro
17

British Columbia site C hydro

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Yes, but dams serves more purposes than power generation. They're also part of the water management effort including flood control as well as water storage for irrigation and residential/industrial/commercial water usage.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

and flooding pristine countryside, too...I've attached a file on what Manitoba Hydro did the an area of Northern Manitoba...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

and another... the lakes with the shading have been damaged. Local lakes without damage and pristine show up 'black' in this Google satellite picture.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Well I lived in Northern Manitoba from 1975 until 1985 and never saw any evidence of ecological damage. Plus spent about 2 years living in Revelstoke BC , with the main dam just about three miles north of town, flooding a length of the valley for about 60 miles......... beautiful pristine area with great hunting and fishing. WHats the problem??

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

A couple of counter points, John.
Water storage and flood control:
I understand that those functions are and will be addressed by the long existing W.A.C Bennett Dam.
Site "C" is to be a run of the river dam, and will not add much value in the way of water storage and flood control.
"irrigation" The net impact on farmland will probably be negative. A lot of farm land will be flooded.
Nothing new here for the B.C. N.D.P. party.
In years past:
A pulp mill was closing as it was becoming uneconomical to operate.
The NDP formed a commission to investigate.
The answer was simple arithmetic:
Compare unit costs with fixed costs and it was apparent that doubling the size of the mill would allow the mill to again be economical to operate.
Spend millions of government money to rebuild and expand the mill.
Oh, Oh. The real reason that the mill was uneconomical was that it had used up all of the close in pulp-wood, and increased haul distances had rendered the mill uneconomical.
With the doubled demand for pulpwood, the unanticipated consequence was that very shortly the haul distances increased and the mill again became uneconomical.
Again the same political party:

Quote (Wiki)

The fast ferry scandal was a political affair in the late 1990s relating to the construction of three fast ferries by the Canadian provincial crown corporation BC Ferries under direction of the Executive Council of British Columbia, headed at the time by Premier Glen Clark of the New Democratic Party.

In addition to major delays and cost overruns, the ferries never fully met their original specifications, and only operated briefly in a reduced capacity, before being auctioned off at a substantial loss.
.....
When the fast ferries were sold, the provincial budget declared a $52 million loss.

Bill
--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Unfortunately the file that shows the damage is too large to load... I'll try to do a couple of snapshots.... Northern Manitoba is a pretty big place... the Google map shows the area of damage.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

6
Canada. where there is so much land, we will rape and pillage vast swathes of it for very little economic return.

Or in the case of site C, negative return.

see the tar sands, forestry in BC, mining in the arctic.

Just because there are trees on the side of the road as you drive the #1, it doesnt mean the ecosystem hasnt completely collapsed.

I've heard stories that back before the white man came, blind old ladies were sent down to the river to catch salmon with a sharp stick.

I've cast plenty of rods myself but never pulled up a decent pink fish.

only when the last tree is felled, the last mine is closed, the final bit of tar is sucked from the sand, will we finally wake up and realize what a mess we have made of the place.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

A serious consequences of dams is that they trap silt and can allow beach erosion and salt water intrusion into marsh areas along the coast, as that silt can no longer replace the eroded beach areas. Not to mention that silt deposited from flooding rivers is a natural fertiliser for farmland. The Egyptians prayed for the Nile to flood every year. Today we rely on chemical fertilisers that pollute rivers with its runoff.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

and I dare say , EVERYONE in the world eats better today than any of the ancient egyptians and way less people lose their lives to flooding. What that tell you??

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

If zoning laws had prevented people from building on flood plains, things would be very different. Farm land wasn't the problem, we could pay the farmer for his lost crops once every five or six years and still save money compared to having to build flood control dams and levees, and when a levee fails, having to subsidize the rebuilding of residential and commercial properties.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

That the water is crap near farmlands and we're building dams so they can farm more land and use more water.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

I guess I referring more to what the situation is along the Mississippi River, and to a lessor extent, the Missouri and Ohio Rivers.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Dams serve useful purposes. USBR sells these arguments well.
However, a dam is of course not the right solution for every situation.
And dams have both advantages and disadvantages. Just like solar. And fossil fuels. And ...
A better engineering discussion would not just involve jabs and selective case histories, but at an acknowledgement of both sides.

This particular situation sounds more like a political failure, but it is not a "classic" engineering failure, and unfortunately these things happen routinely in my home state of California. Most nobody pays much attention to these, but superflop projects like the bullet train from bushwack to tumbleweed (mere $100 billion) gather more notice. [Political aside: People are just people, and have short memories.]

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

I recognize that dams have their uses and advantages, however, "What's the problem?", required an answer describing what a few of the problems are. I gave an example or two of poorly thought out, relatively minor ones, in a very, very long list of others. The list is not short in the least. Sometimes they even fail in an engineering sense, as you have seen discussed in other threads of this forum, and to near astronomical consequences as well. Thinking about this a bit more, it occurs to me that the use of dams in mining processes probably represent the worst offenders of all in regard to poor engineering, ultimate failure and consequential extreme damages in relation to loss of life, property and release of seriously toxic compounds.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Well Im not sure I come anywhere near close to agreeing with 1503 with regards to mining dams buts its ironic that he posts this on the same day that the Brazilians published this.

https://www.mining.com/vale-drills-caused-brumadin...

Not an engineering failure per se ,but a complete disregard of common sense and /or failure to ask for engineering assistance.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Dams are also an ecological disaster. Fish can't pass dams which leads to fish extinction. Periodic floods that formerly replenished the silt in delta are eliminated and the delta's disappear along with numerous bird species.

Link

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

The amount of totally erroneous information being posted to this thread is getting excessive!! BIMR I guess you've never seen the fish ladders that are now built into all Canadian dams to allow the salmon to migrate to their spawning grounds??

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

and mining can be, too...

Work to remediate the abandoned Ruttan Mine in northern Manitoba is underway following the awarding of a $45-million contract to a Manitoba firm as part of an ongoing commitment to protect the environment and to clean up abandoned mine sites, Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard announced today.

and the taxpayer will likely pick up the ticket... not the shareholders.


Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Yes, I have seen "fish ladder", a mechanical engineers wet dream.

"Fish ladders often work well for river herring on smaller Atlantic rivers. Fish ladders at dams on the West Coast’s giant Columbia River system allow large numbers of salmon and also non-native shad to pass, but despite this apparent success contemporary runs of salmon are likely an order of magnitude lower than historic abundances."

Blocked Migration: Fish Ladders On U.S. Dams Are Not Effective

Fishways on rivers in the U.S. Northeast are failing, with less than 3 percent of one key species making it upriver to their spawning grounds, according to a new study. The researchers’ findings provide a cautionary tale for other nations now planning big dam projects.

Even if the "fish ladders" worked, dams are still an ecological disaster. Example: Loss of bird nesting sites in the delta.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Put it in perspective;
Williston lake is the largest lake in British Columbia and the seventh largest reservoir in the world.
Williston lake covers 680 Square miles.
Williston lake was formed in 1968 by the construction of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam.
The dam is on the Peace River which flows into the Mackenzie River which flows north into the Arctic Ocean.
All of the comments concerning silting and flooding have been there since 1968.
One effect of the W.A.C. Bennett dam was a relatively constant year-round water flow.
Gone were the high waters of spring and summer.
The tug boats moving freight barges on the northern reaches of the Mackenzie were both lengthened and widened to reduce the draft so as to be able to navigate the shallower water.
Compared to the 680 square miles flooded by the W.A.C. Bennett dam, the site "C" dam will flood about 10 square miles.
It's a run of the river dam and won't make much difference apart from the flooded area.
Location: 56N 12' latitude compared to Juneau Alaska at 58N 18' Latitude.
Yes there is some agriculture but this is not booming farmland.
This is more of a government blunder than an environmental disaster.
Yes, there is some environmental impact, but not much.
The big impact was the W.A.C. Bennett dam over 50 years ago.

Bill
--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Quote (miningman (Mining))

Well I lived in Northern Manitoba from 1975 until 1985 and never saw any evidence of ecological damage. Plus spent about 2 years living in Revelstoke BC , with the main dam just about three miles north of town, flooding a length of the valley for about 60 miles......... beautiful pristine area with great hunting and fishing. WHats the problem??

Obviously, you cannot see the forest for the trees:

Delta sediment is washed away into the ocean.



Sediment is being deposited before the dams, instead of in the river deltas



Artificial islands have to be created for the wildlife:



Watch the movie about the Danube:

PBS Europe's Amazon



RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Dams slow the river which can have a dramatic effect on what lives and grows there. Aquatic weeds
an accumulate, fast river fish are replaced by those that don't need as much O2. Beavers will move out. Bears can't catch salmon in deep lakes. Migration routes may be changed, or blocked. Water temperature changes, local air temperatures can be affected. Local water table rises at the lake and reduces downstream affecting wetland distributions. Large numbers of people and boats may appear.

BTW I also recognize that the petrol industry is at least as bad, if not far worse than mining. I have been boycotting BP (esp.), Shell, ExxonMobil and Cheveron products for many, many years. I won't even buy a coffee from their shops. I'd put more on that list, but I gotta get my gas from somewhere.

The Brazilian dam failure is quite a coincidence. I had not seen that news.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

6
If you hate mining, I'm not sure how you're going to make solar panels. Or batteries. Or windmills. Or smart phones. Or really anything.
If you say mining and dams are a disaster, you've really boxed yourself in to heating yourself with a wood fire (wood from a sustainable forest, that is) and subsistence farming.

Dams indeed mess with the ecosystem, including silt flows and fish. I argue that we work to minimize the adverse effects, not boycott dams. In most circumstances, the benefits of dams far outweigh the downsides.

I completely agree that every energy source has its downsides, some very damning. But there are no angels out there. Before pouring on the righteous indignation, it would be honest to name your viable alternatives to the current systems we all use directly or indirectly.

So we work with private companies and governments to mitigate those risks, and hold both unregulated greedy companies and wholly incompetent captive governments accountable, the best we can. We provide better engineered solutions. And hopefully not argue for going back into the dark ages.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

The problem with attributing low fish returns to dams on Pacific NW rivers - is that it's not the biggest contributor. Many Columbia Dams were completed before the 1960s and there have been high fish counts after they were built. Fish returns on the un-dammed Skykomish/Snoqualmie/Snohomish river system has been dropping to abysmal levels. The fisheries know that the link to urban density is the problem, but until recently did not know why. Until recently:

https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/12/03/tire-re...

The biggest problem is the use of 6PPD (an anti-ozone aging chemical that reduces age cracking) in automobile tires. The stuff reacts with ozone to form a chemical that is toxic to coho salmon in ppb concentrations. The study was specific to that species of salmon, but the chemical is likely toxic to other fish as well. We need to come up with a less toxic chemical for our tires, and mandate its use, the sooner the better.

TL/DR: Knocking down dams is not going to help on most rivers.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Quote (btrueblood (Mechanical))

The problem with attributing low fish returns to dams on Pacific NW rivers - is that it's not the biggest contributor. Many Columbia Dams were completed before the 1960s and there have been high fish counts after they were built. Fish returns on the un-dammed Skykomish/Snoqualmie/Snohomish river system has been dropping to abysmal levels. The fisheries know that the link to urban density is the problem, but until recently did not know why. Until recently:

https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/12/03/tire-re...

The biggest problem is the use of 6PPD (an anti-ozone aging chemical that reduces age cracking) in automobile tires. The stuff reacts with ozone to form a chemical that is toxic to coho salmon in ppb concentrations. The study was specific to that species of salmon, but the chemical is likely toxic to other fish as well. We need to come up with a less toxic chemical for our tires, and mandate its use, the sooner the better.

TL/DR: Knocking down dams is not going to help on most rivers.

Yes, as your article stated: tire-related chemicals are largely responsible for adult coho salmon deaths in urban streams. This is not referring to the Columbia River.

Do some further research, it is easy to find:

"The Columbia River was once the largest producing salmon ground in the world. Today however, Less than 2.5 million adult salmon are produced annually by the Columbia River. Before the dams were built, the Columbia River was estimated to produce about ten to sixteen million adult salmon per year. The construction of the dams, especially in the Lower Snake River, has altered the wildlife and the environment. There are currently, 27 major dams in the Columbia River. Consequently, Salmon are forced to flow down the Columbia River into the gauntlet of these major dams. Through these mainstreams, salmon are killed every second. Every second, we wait to stop the dams; Salmon are becoming extinct in this region. In fact, some of these Hydroelectric Dams were created to kill fish, so that they could process energy faster from the water without clogs in the turbines. Also, there are 2,900 smaller dams in the Columbia River Basin. These Dams are known as "Fish Killers". They trap salmon from migrating downstream or upstream to reproduce with other salmon. These dams also lack provision of a passage for the fish, thus trapping and eventually killing the population of Salmon in the Columbia River Basin.

The Columbia River Dam has not only impacted the salmon in this region but has also effected the environment. Since the construction of the dams in 1932, the dams have been flooding due to heavy rainstorms. Moreover, these dams provide No flood control benefits. Floods in the Columbia River Dams have been known to flood cities, posing threats to humans. These floods have depleted the irrigation in the area, thus causing the River to expand. In all, these dams pose a major impact to the environment, the wildlife, and the community in this area."



Columbia River Damming

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

The most useful purpose for most dams in canada is transferring wealth from the peasants to the well-connected contractors and their preferred politicans, and a make-work project in some areas that have unemployment issues .

The cost /MW is startling, at $8E9 cad/900 MW= $8.8 E6 cad/MW compared to about $1.3 E6 cad/MW for gas fired combined cycle. And the cost adders are only just beginning. It only goes to show that anything is possible in politics. Similar bizarre economics for Hinkley point C and flammanville 3. The real objective has nothing to do with providing reliable electricity at competitve costs.

"...when logic, and proportion, have fallen, sloppy dead..." Grace Slick

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Wow, dams are just so bad, USA really should dynomite the Hoover dam and let the water flow uncontrolled again.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Yeah, its bone dry in Mexico.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Right. Dams are usually built for water supply collection and storage, irrigation and flood control purposes. If they can make a hydro gen out of it, the mfgr sector can feed too, then industrial power consumers move in. Hydro is the bonus feature.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

hydro-electric is such a terrible technology, we need to pour a lot more money into carbon based (petroleum, gas, coal) based energy production so that we can recharge our batteries...idea

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Not a lot of the "Dams are bad" comments are particularly applicable to site "C".
1. The W.A.C. Bennett dam was primarily intended for generation.
2. I am amused by the conflicting positions on flood control;
A. Dams are bad, the prevent silting of farmland and encourage the wasting of river deltas. Funny, I thought that the spring freshets did a lot of damage to the deltas but I may be wrong.
B.Dams are good, they prevent flooding.
3. Loss of farm land.
Site flooded about two square miles of cultivated land and about four and one half square miles of grazing leases.
Bill
--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

bimr,

Your referenced site itself cites zero actual scientific references and presents no data, just statements without verification.

Fish counts prior to the dams being built are anecdotal at best, there was no way to determine fish passage except by counting the number of fish caught, and even that was difficult because a major fishery (Native Americans) were never historically required to report fish catches. Fish counts actually rose to never before seen levels in the 90's (long after all the Columbia river dams were built). 6PPD did not become a commonly used antioxidant for tires until approximately a decade later. Removal of dams on the Snake river will not necessarily improve salmon runs, there are a lot of other factors contributing. One of the worst factors is that annual fish catches reported in the Pacific for all salmon types has reached a peak in the last several years. Key word in that last sentence is "reported" -- we don't really know how many fish are being caught illegally. Want to save the salmon? Stop eating them.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

The salmon flea is not helping the situation. It is affecting farmed salmon, due to the high density of the fish packed into the pens. It is difficult to find wild salmon outside of Norway. Most all here are farmed and the price has risen a lot over the last 5 yrs. Wild salmon must be really high now. I think it is catch and release only in Galicia and all over Spain now.

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

Quote (just statements without verification.)


There's enough anecdotal data that this is happening, with or without studies... I'm reasonably confident the sun will set in the evening and rise in the morning without reading about it...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

There are plenty of studies, one just has to look. None of the studies are reporting any improvement, but instead are reporting on an ecological emergency.

"Wild salmon and steelhead are iconic of wildlife, of indigenous Northwest lifestyles, of the streams they spawn in, of the ocean they spend half their lives in. Wild Pacific salmon stand for the Pacific Northwest.

They also stand for our present ecological emergency, what scientists term the Sixth Great Extinction, caused by global warming, invasive species and habitat degradation.

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity states that the world’s ecosystems are at risk of “rapid degradation and collapse” unless “swift, radical and creative action” is taken. Species-extinction discourse is embroiled in a numbers game, to wit: How many species are there? What is a normal rate of extinction? How far above a normal rate have we veered? It seems that dozens of species go extinct every day, at least a thousand times the normal rate.

In the Pacific Northwest, 19 populations of wild salmon and steelhead are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. On the Skagit these include chinook and steelhead. These are, of course, extant runs. Salmon have already gone extinct in 40 percent of their historical range."

Smithsonian

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

The sky is falling!!! The sky is falling!!!!!!! But then again I always did prefer a good steak rather than a lump of fish

RE: British Columbia site C hydro

With the methane, cows produce, your steaks may go the way of the Dodo bird, too...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Engine-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Engine-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Engine-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Engine-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Resources

Engineering as It Should Be - Chapter 2: Document Security
This ebook covers basic tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Chapter 2 covers cybersecurity and answers the question: How do you secure your files and documents? Download Now

Close Box

Join Engine-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Engine-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close