Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We need your help! This is how.

The dam is for real, and residents are not being fairly informed. Check out http://www.petawawadevelopments.com
Here is a copy of the advertisment welcoming comment. http://www.liquidlore.com/petrace/dam_notice.pdf

Although we are gaining ground in terms of media and public awareness, we still need your help. As the .pdf outlines, Petawawa Green Energy Development (PGED) is preparing their Waterpower Site Strategy. They are accepting comments from the public, and are then required / expected to address them when they submit the WSS to the Ministry of Natural Resources.

This is not the same as a public consultation for an EA. That comes later. What I need from the kayaking and outdoors community is to take a second to send off an e-mail to info@petawawadevelopments.com in regards to 2KB21 at Big Eddy at the CPR Bridge and tell them you arent so keen on this development.

Step One: Click the e-mail address given above or below.
Step Two: Cut and paste the letter from the first post, or please feel free to write your own personal note.
Step Three: Send.
Step Four: Tell a friend to do the same.

The letters don't have to be pretty, just get them in.

And remember, this is only the first step, and we will need your support again when the Environmental Assessment period begins for the actual construction.

So, after they've taken the water, how much is left for residents?

Photo© C. Moneypenny

How much water does the DAMN company want to take out of the Petawawa?

Here is a very simple, non-scientific explanation using a generic river. It is not specific to the Petawawa other than the height (head) of 14 metres, as given by the DAMN company in late-April at a public meeting.

The energy available in flowing water depends on the volume of water flowing per second and the height (head) that the water falls. The conversion of this energy into electricity will depend upon the combined efficiency of the components; the efficiency of a small hydro scheme can be between 50-85%. I was generous and gave 70% efficiency.
The power contained by a body of water can be calculated by the following equation:

P = H x Q x g x e

P = power (kW)
H = head height (metres)
Q = flow rate (cubic metres per second or CMS)
g = gravitational constant (9.81 metres per second)
e = efficiency (0.5 ? 0.9, i.e. 50% - 85%)
So on the Petawawa... 14 (head height in metres) x 10 (cm/s) x 9.81 (gravity) x .7 (70% efficient)= 961.38 KW or roughly 1MW.

So that is approximately 10.5 CMS per MW.

The Dam company wanted a minimum 2 MW (21 CMS) to maximum of 10 MW (100 CMS).
Using 2007/08 as an typical example, and the newest available data from Environment Canada, the river flows vary from approx 15 CMS to just above 350 CMS, but were only over 100 CMS for April and May, only over 50 CMS in March, April, May and June, and below 20 CMS for Sept - February.

There are at least six months of the year minimum where it would be impossible to produce even 2 MW of power even if they were granted permission to remove every last drop of water from the river... unless they dam it and store it.

I realize that the proponent is non-commital about a "dam" versus a "diversion" until they finish their studies, but do the math yourself. I don't see how they hope to build this thing without a dam to store the water.

I checked against other years and all are similar to 2007. The flow rates of the Petawawa are taken from Environment Canada Water Survey of Canada date. The link is below.


Monday, June 22, 2009

I am concerned over recent actions to develop a hydro power project on the Petawawa River.

The Petawawa River represents a beautiful recreational resource for the people of Petawawa and the surrounding area. It is one of the few remaining largely un-dammed rivers in Southern Ontario, it flows right from the heart of Algonquin Park, and its whitewater rapids are the very namesake of the town.

This hydro project – should it reach completion – will be robbing us of all this. The river will be largely dewatered, leaving only a bare minimum flow. The rapids will be silenced, the Catwalk swimming hole stagnant, and the sport fishing opportunities will be forever impacted over the entire stretch from the mouth of the river, right up through Black Bay.
I ask, that the Waterpower Site Strategy document outline in detail how these concerns will be mitigated.

To imagine the Town of Petawawa without this beautiful section of whitewater is inconceivable. And, to give away such a resource for a short term monetary gain would be a foolish decision.
The public will lose, while the project developers will gain.

So, I am writing as a resident of Petawawa, the County of Renfrew, the Province of Ontario and citizen of Canada, and raising my voice in objection to the damming and ultimate destruction of this section of river. And, if given the opportunity to do so, I ask that we all take every possible step to ensure that this river continues to flow free, clean and wild for generations to come.


(Name and address)



I consider myself a recreational user of the Petawawa River, and therefore a stakeholder in any project that threatens the Petawawa River. I wish to be consulted and informed of any project developments.