The Platform of the Preservation Work

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Nov 8, 2013 (4 years ago)

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Save the river Vefsna
, sep
. 2003

The
Platform of the
Preservation
Work


The organisation

Save the river

Vefsna
wants

to

prevent

big
hydroelectric

regulations in the watercourse V
e
fsna
.

Save the river Vefsna

does not want that the river
to be
preserved against common use, but
wants to
pre
serve

that
tradi
t
i
onal use and trade along the watercourse
is to be

continue
d

and develop
ed
.


P
reservation of Vefsna in accordance
to addition to Preservation Plan IV

is the best way to
avoid big waterpower regulations, and at the same time secure local se
lf

determination and
business development.


P
r
e
servation will secure the last big and almost non
-
interfered waterpower in Norway against
great

environ
men
tal destructions and therefore in the long run
is
attending

to

carr
y

out our
responsibility
for

the new

generations

and their environmental interests.



Why is preservation of the watercourse ne
c
essary?

P
reservation will mainly
just

imply

that the watercourse
is
avoid
ing

big waterpower
regulations.


Pr
eservation will probably secure that
the river is recrea
ted

to what she once was

like.

Waterpower regulations
me
a
n th
at

the water regime is changed without the full control
o
f

the
consequences.

Preservation does not mean that the resources in the watercourse are

frozen

over

(such as in a
situation of protection
), but means that the traditional use, and the development of this, will
possibly get secured.


Othe
r

waterpower regulations beyond the plans of Stat
e

Power


The
projects

which are outlined con
c
er
ning

waterpower regulations
by the company State

Power, are

t
he gr
e
atest and most controvers
i
al
projects, but there is a real danger that these plans will be followed
by a stream of other great regulations as addition
s

(by local firms)
,
and those

will affect many other side watercourses to a large extent.

The
big
gest

of these projects is
outlined

by the
electricity

firm

Helgelandskraft

and con
c
erns
the
building

of a power

station in the river
Eiteråga
.

This power station is projected with a 10
meter high dam in the lower parts of the river and will likely damage t
he good fishing of
today

in the river below the dam.


Save the river Vefsna
, sep
. 2003

Nor
way


a country of prosperity

M
ost people of
today

in Norway

are
living a life
characterized by

unbelievable luxuries
, bu
t

only a few
are

really aware of how little

that

is

necessary

to lose this
pri
vilege
.
Will it be
correct
i
n such a perspective to exploit every possibility to increase our pro
sperity without any
thought of
basic needs and wishes

of

the future?

A watercourse
which is
untouched

by

waterpower regulations will be an assurance in a futur
e
where we do not know the
basic
conditions
.


The
concept

of
preservation

in the

100
-
meter
z
one

The municipalities are
responsible

for making a
differentiated

plan of management
in
agreement with the land
-
owners, which in turn has to be approved by
The Nor
wegian Water
Resources and Energy Directorate

(NVE).

Here the preservation values have to be secured.

The Directorate for Nature Management (DN)
says it

this way in its
hearings:


Preservat
ion of the watercourse is

as mentioned

and in the

NVE
-

proposal til
l no prevent

for
the possibility of the
municipal

to self
-
administering

the preservation values through
the laws
of “area
administration


and through the laws of

plan
-

and
building”, as long as such
administration is done in a sustainable way.


S
uch
untou
ched

areas get
g
enerally a higher preservation

level than areas which already have
been exposed to interference.
Any

interference that could have consequences for the public
,
regardless preservation or not,
must
today be
evaluated
by NVE if
concession

is t
o be
handed
out
.
You are

therefore
even to
day
not

free to
do as you like
. It must
, for instance
, regardless
preservation or not
,

be
put

back
edge
-
z
ones
along

watercourses (
law of

water resource
s).



Examinations in five
municipals

in the counties of Nord
-
T
røndelag and Nordland with much
preservation of the
watercourses

show that
no one think
s

that preservation has given
negative effects concerning agriculture and forestry
.

Today the local rivers Fusta and
Drevja are preserved, but the practical consequences

for business interests have been so
limited that only a few have been aware of the preservation

restrictions
.




A large or a small regulation

There is no doubt that the plans outlined in project ”Possibilities Helgeland”

must be seen
as a
LARGE

regulat
ion both according to the power potential
, the

watercourse regulations and
the
environment.

Great regulations in power potential clearly indicate that big environmental
consequences are at danger. The plans therefore are not
compatible

with the
quotation
s
from
important politicians

in

Norway that

the period of great waterpower regulations is over
”.

The regulation plans imply considerable environmental
consequences

with for instance the transfer of water from one
watercourse (Vefsna) to another watercourse
(Røssvatn), increased
Save the river Vefsna
, sep
. 2003

mud deposits, changed temperature conditions, and so on.


We know that about
1
0 % of the
water earlier on the late 1950’s has been regulated away from the watercourse Vefsna

(the
river
Elsvasselva

and the upper parts of

the rivers
Glu
ggvasselva
and

Svartvasselva ).

If they
transfer a new 10 % of the water away, one can easily imagine that the sustainability of the
watercourse is going to be exceeded.

The most mentioned
projects

will together give a yearly
power
production of about
1500
GWh.

This is about

1
.
5 %
of the total power production in Norway

today
, and

must
therefore be evaluated as a:
Very
large

regulation
!!!

Compared to the controversial power
regulation for about 25 years ago in the northern part of Norway, Alta, the regulati
on in
Vefsna is about three times as large in a scale of power production.

Almost all watercourses in the county Nordland are
strongly
regulated for hydroelectrically
purpose.

Nordland is in fac
t the county which produces
most electrical energy to
the
comm
unity. The company State Power has also Norway’s next largest lake to disposal

(Røssvatnet).


Energy Politics

Regulations of the
rest

potential

of waterpower will
change nothing on the so

called power crisis in Norway.
The access of the market to more p
ower will only lead
to more export and or larger inland consumption.

W
e
must learn to use less energy a
nd start thinking on alternative heating of
houses etc. instead of
putting nature and future generation’s heritage into pipes.

The “power crisis” has
f.

ex.
come as a result of more waterpower dependence.
If we had
put
our money on

environmental friendly energy
-
forms and sparing of energy, there would
probably not have been any power crisis. We should rather
put our money on

low
-
worthy
energy (
H
eat
P
umps
and
District Heating
)
for heating, and use the high worthy

electrical
energy for other purposes.

As long as
the society

is pumping more energy from waterpower into the market, the
market will not be stimulated to new
way
s

of thinking.

The aut
h
orities must
come up with much more serio
usly

demands to
the great power
-
consuming industry

about economizing with
its

energy
-
resources

(district heating and so
on).

For instance are only a small part of the plant
-
buildings at the company
Elkem
Aluminium Mosjøen
heated

by excess heat from the production. It is calculated that the use of
excess heat from Elkem would have been enough to heat most of the centre of Mosjøen city.

We should present demands, like what is done in the city Sortland where all new buildings,
great
er than 1000 cubic meters, and new buildings in defined areas of housing, have got a
connection to district heating installations.

The
electricity

crisis which now is
seen

is related to a worry that the water magazines are
reduced

indefensible

so it is a p
ossible chance
for

electricity

ration
ing

to avoid reaching the
“bottom”, that is to come below 8 % of filling degree. This is due to dry
-
years in Norway and
Save the river Vefsna
, sep
. 2003

Sweden

at the same time, not a large use of electricity.


More capacity in waterpower
production w
ill not at all relieve this situation.

It is the lack of water, not regulations or
turbine capacity
, which gives us the difficult situation.

Increased waterpower regulations are
therefore
no adequate

answer to the so called power crisis. On the contrary it

is of vital
interest for Norway
to make us less dependant of electricity, especially of waterpower.

Are the power companies passive to alternative energy sources due to competing
considerations
?
Are economical reasons an explanation why they don’t put mon
ey on other
energy sources?

The power consume at

Elkem Aluminium

has bee
n

neglected as a n
on
-
theme because the
company the last years
have used


Swedish

power


on long term agreements.
This power
consumption is absolutely a theme for power politics as Elke
m uses energy which would
else
have been accessible on the same market (the Scandinavian power exchange) which common
people
is

fac
ing
.

It is therefore wrong when the great power consuming industry is held on the
outside (protected) in accordance with wast
e of power and environmental responsibility.

The so called power crisis can best be solved in other ways (
for instance
research on
alternative energy).
It is the
dependence

on waterpower which makes us vulnerable.


S
e
lf

determination
in

the watercourse

A p
reservation of the river is the best way to secure the self determination in the watercourse
.
The regulation interest seem not to divorce between preservation and protection and have on
this basis turned the discussion over to a level of objectivity which
is
no good.

The municipalities understanding of the consequences related to the 100
-
meter zone in the
preservation area is misunderstood and used to spread fear and mistrust to the preservation
interests.

A power regulation will to a larger extent reduce t
he self determination

in

the watercourse
because capital interests related to power production
have got access
.

This will probably
impose a negative influence on fishing tourism and other river
-
related trade.

The power producers and the distribution net wi
ll likely be
privatised in the future

(
the
companies
Statkraft
and

Statnett
)

as already proposed
.

What will
then
happen if we get worse
times and the commercial forces can operate freely with the natural resources of the society?

We have little confidence
that environmental
concerns

are

going to be prioritised

before
economical
interest’s

concerning

low
-
water
-
flow and other regulations if the power
producers
get further access to Vefsna. The planned regulations are presented as environmental projects.
But w
e strongly doubt that this will be the result, as other regulations from time to time
reports on
“accidents” and other happenings
.
One example on this is what happened in the
river Åbjøra the summer 2002 when great amounts of salmon fry were exterminated b
ecause
of to little low
-
water
-
flow!

The government is now working to change the regulation company Statkraft from a state
company to a
limited

company.

This will open for private owners in the future.
Companies
Save the river Vefsna
, sep
. 2003

like the SN
-
power, HEAS, Syd

Kraft, SMC,
and

others

(
big international companies in oil,
technology and trade) will then be
controlling

power production in rural Norway in the future.

W
hat

will
then
happen
about self determination in our watercourses?

Stat
kraft

now tries to be the largest deliverer
of so called
Green Power

(water, wave
-

and
wind power) in Europe.
The market for this type of energy is strongly demanded and this will
further increase the pressure on our left waterpower resources.


Future employments in connection

with

power regulation

projects

A power regulation will get a few, if any, long termed employments.
The power regulation in
upper river Namsen
(Namsvatnet, Limingen
and

Tunnsjøen)
is natural to compare with, and
here
the regulation has not been followed by especially many emplo
yments related to
operation and maintenance
.

It is clear that we will get many short term employments in the project time, but it will be
naively to believe that
the local trade
automatically
will get the big working commissions. We
may assume that the nam
ed 50 local companies which
are

considered

also
will
have to
compete on contracts after a
tender. Statkraft has already
its

own database where the most
actual delivers are
accepted in advance
.


Redu
ced flow

of
water


C
onsequen
ce

analysis

The concrete eff
ects o
f

reduced
water flow

on the watercourse
will
not be shown before a consequential analysis of the regulation

is
done
.

Next step
will then be to evaluate
permission
, eventually with
demands on extra conditions.
Permission

can be given on the
condition
of narrowing the river to create stream, planting of fish
and
in
water drop
s

in controlled ways.

It is
important

to understand that

it is
possib
le

to deny a regulation

project

after a consequence
analysis,

theoretically
, b
ut it will in practice be much har
der to stop the power project

at this
stage
.


Organisa
tions and asso
c
iat
i
ons wh
o

are
at present

in favour of preservation



Sametinget



Vefsn Jeger
-

og Fiskerforening, Leirfjord Jeger
-

og Fiskerforening, Nordland Jeger
-

og Fiskerforening, Norges Jeger
-

og F
iskerforening



Vefsn SV, Hattfjelldal SV, Nordland SV, SV's stortingsgruppe



Vefsn Venstre, Nordland Venstre

Save the river Vefsna
, sep
. 2003



Vefsn RV



Vefsn lokallag av Naturvernforbundet, Naturvernforbundet i Nordland, Norges
Naturvernforbund



World Wildlife Fond
-

Norge



Natur og ungdom




Direktoratet for Naturforvaltning



Riksantikvaren