Hal Shepherd

Is Hydropower Good for Fish?

Hydropower has been gaining popularity in the United States and around the world recently because it is considered a relatively clean, renewable and low carbon producing energy source. And, according to the Alaska Energy Authority, it can even, benefit fish. According to AEA, its proposal to divert water from the West Fork Upper Battle Creek drainage in order to supplement the power generating capacity for the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project near the Fox River Flats estuary on the east end of Kachemak Bay would actually be good for fish. (Homer News, July 20, 2017). This claim is, apparently, based on the presumption that “too much” water during the summer months limits salmon fry and juvenile productivity and creates faster currents that can flush younger fish downstream where they may be vulnerable to predation or higher salinity conditions. Such conclusions, however, beg the obvious question that, if the fish in Battle Creek are in such bad shape from the natural condition which have existed for thousands of years, how have they survived there for that same amount of time?

Court fight over water rights raises question:Whose side is DNR on?

As water becomes more of valuable commodity in the United States, competition between public and private uses for this resource is heating up. This has caused a disturbing trend in governmental sector which seems to be succumbing to political pressure to side more often with corporate interest wishing to privatize water use. 

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