The Site C Dam and its Baggage

The thought of building a dam in the Peace River region of BC began floating around in 1970. It will be the 3rd dam along this area and one of the biggest. Interest in the development of Site C diminished over the years but BC Hydro’s recent report re-sparked interest in the development of the Site C dam. The construction of the dam will provide over 44,000 jobs during the seven-year construction phase. It is estimated that the construction of the Site C dam will generate a GDP of over 3.5 billion dollars in total.

The Site C dam will be an earth-fill dam: a dam built by compacting layers of earth. The height of the dam will be 60 meters above theImage riverbed, with a length of one kilometer. The giant reservoir will have a surface area of approximately 9,330 hectares; the total flooded land will be 5,550 hectares. To put that in perspective that’s almost 34,000 hockey rinks. The reservoir will stretch 83 kilometers in length. The dam will have the capacity to produce 1,100 million watts (MW) and 5,100 gigawatts per year (Gwh/year).

Area locals preferred building power plants fueled by natural gas, which would raise energy prices, rather than to have Site C built. However, province wide polling taken in July of 2012, revealed that 77 percent of British Columbians approved of the dam provided it underwent an “extensive and independent environmental assessment”.

Locals also believe that up to 5000 hectares of farmland will be flooded as opposed to the 50 hectares that BC hydro claims.

The Site C dam is a multi-billion dollar project that will not only cause harm to taxpayers, but the environment as well. With a 77% approval rate by the citizens of BC, it is most likely that Site C will eventually receive the green light.Image

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