An Aquedam for BC Hydro’s Site C ?

pont_du_gard_oct_2007An Aquedam for BC Hydro’s Site C ?
Could a modified design prevent generations of market jitters?

Hydroelectric dam engineers face an incredible dilemma. Hydro dams generate renewable energy but destroy natural ecosystems. Forcing government to make a hard choice, often presented as: ‘developing the renewable energy supply’ vs. ‘protecting and sustaining the ecosystem’. In British Columbia, the contentious “Big Dam/Big Lake” Site C design produces the same dilemma. It will produce irrevocable ecosystem damage, but might go ahead if courts accept the provincial argument that energy supply and future export sales are more important [Note 1]. Objectors are taking the case to higher courts, and the Province is moving forward; pushed by political pressures to force a fait accompli – a locked-in project – on the federal court, despite the court’s demonstrated willingness to block projects of similar magnitude. We could wait to see what happens. But is this prudent?

What if a modified design removes the conflict?
Could it create incentive for a new dam partnership?
Could the partnership – of former opponents – grandfather all approvals done to date?

final-sketch

Aquedam Concept: David Huer
Solidworks Drawings: Matej Borovec https://www.fiverr.com/borohot

An aqueduct atop bridge piers, with penstocks, turbines, and generators located inside each pier. Sourcing water from a higher elevation upstream, through a pipeline, to an elevated feeder pond at the design-height needed to achieve proper head, for feeding down into powerhouses spaced across the river.

site-map2Inspired by Roman aqueducts, British Columbia’s open-lattice railroad bridges, and the magnificent curved structures of London, England’s tidal barrier.

10oct2016-inspired-videosCould this design …
Achieve the same head elevation and power production as a “big wall” design, without destroying the valley economy, treaty lands, businesses, farms, and natural ecosystem?

Aquedam Front ViewRight Angled View


 

 

 

 

 

And elsewhere? Could the design be as10-34-5026useful where dam designers face the same dilemma?

Growing return-on-investment. Avoiding decades of costly volatility – legal, political, and armed conflict – for hundreds of future hydroelectric projects across British Columbia, across Canada and around the world.

* Any engineering company worth its salt understands the business opportunity.
* Insurers, financiers, investors and bond markets will value the minimized risk.
* Local people will save their valleys, their treaty rights, wetlands, forests, and farms.
* Contractors and vendors get their construction jobs, fed by the farmers in the valley.
* And utilities will get their exportable power.

new-rend-962-transparent-flow-through

Aquedam Transparent View

 

 

 

 

 


British Columbia’s challenge, now, is that we may need a particular type of leadership.

Leaders who can switch directions. Leaders who simultaneously lead for the betterment of local ridings and industry and the Province and the Nation. For now, and for future generations.

This may be the biggest challenge – Asking our leaders to put political capital on the table.

But what if they could?


logo-bchydroNote 1: BC Hydro will expropriate and flood 80 km of forests, farms and homes, and 7,000 acres of Class 1 and 2 agriculture land.


meeting-pixels-com-cc0Note 2: Project Management steps could include:

* Site C – site approved;
* Site C – works completed to date – approved;
* Site C – all associated construction and works continue;
* The Court acts as a neutral body managing pre-design negotiations;
* Sheriffs of the Court administer adherence to agreement;
* Dam Re-design & Pipeline Design – pre-agreed by stakeholders with standing;
* All other existing Site C studies and approvals grandfathered into agreement;
* Stakeholders establish Dam & Pipeline “Redesign Delivery” target due date;
* Stakeholders establish Dam & Pipeline “Construction Start” target due date;
* BC Hydro issues new design upgrade contract tenders;
* Construction, with new design, commences at or near Construction Start target date;
* BC Hydro and Destination BC commence world-wide campaign to teach the new design.


Images:

Logos on Dam: Included as part of public policy commentary and assumed to be a fair use application. Please advise with a message through my linkedin page whether a logo should be removed.

London Barrier: By mattbuck (category) (Own work by mattbuck.) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0), CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c0/London_MMB_%C2%BB127_Thames_Barrier_and_%22Avontuur_IV%22.jpg

Pont du Gard, Roman Empire: 14 October 2007, 10:07:27, Author: Emanuele. This image, which was originally posted to Flickr.com, was uploaded to Commons using Flickr upload bot on 23:55, 13 February 2012 (UTC) by Prioryman (talk). On that date it was licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pont_du_Gard_Oct_2007.jpg

CPR bridge (black) in foreground, CNR bridge (orange arch) in background (with CPR train on it): Photo facing upriver. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/common/9/92/Canadian_Pacific_Railway_train_crossing_Fraser_River_on_Cisco_bridge_at_Siska%2C_British_Columbia_%282010-Jun-13%29.jpg By Michael Frei (Michael Frei) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Earth image: Astronaut Photograph AS10-34-5026. NASA. Public Domain. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EarthPerspectives/page2.php

Meeting: https://www.pexels.com/photo/meeting-pencils-macbook-notebooks-40120/ via Creative Commons-CC0 License

A new map of the Coast?

A new map for BC

In the case of Tsilhqot’in First Nation, the Supreme Court of Canada recently decided that aboriginal title never got extinguished. And Premier Clark recently declared that the treaty process is not working–part of her reasoning for cancelling the appointment of the province’s treaty commissioner.

treaties-bc-01-001

Perhaps it is not working because most of BC has returned to First Nations title?

Perhaps the hard truth is that the British Columbia has legally shrunk to a handful of treaty lands covering less than 1/3 of the land area?

Perhaps the new reality is that First Nations do not have to participate in treaties any more?

 

Should First Nations establish a new Province?

treaties-bc-03b-001Perhaps First Nations could in fact create a new Province of the Peoples of the Coast (black outline), with a capital and legislature where First Nations people want it — Prince George? Kamloops? Prince Rupert? Or an entirely new, planned, capital city? And a provincial regime that assets the constitutional rights of the landowners? A capital where foreign embassies for other Provinces, the federal government, Province of BC treaty nations (red) and other States could locate?

 

Should Lower BC become a Megacity-sized Province?

lowerbc

We have a funny situation. Most of BC has nothing in common with the metropolitan area on its lower big toe. But that ‘big toe’ governs everything.

In the face of the Supreme Court decision, is that equitable? In the face of that decision, after the horror of the residential schools, isn’t the right thing self-governance under the United Nations Charter?


Maps:

https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/DAM/DAM-INTER-HQ-AI/STAGING/texte-text/mprm_treaties_th-ht_bc_1371839407696_eng.pdf

http://www.bctreaty.net/nations/nation_maps/Treaty-Negotiations-in-British-Columbia-Map.pdf

Sacred Priorities Protocol

ChilcotinMapRecognizing the intangibles of the new relationship.  SPP link here

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed title to the Tsilhqot’in Nation.

The Tsilhqot’in Nation in British Columbia have always possessed aboriginal title to approximately 2,000 square kilometres of land.  The decision – the first to recognize aboriginal title to specific real property – explicitly renounces the Euro-British doctrine of terra nullius. The doctrine claimed that no one owned the land before the Crown claimed it, and the Court has determined that this has no basis in Canadian law.

The Crown (as the embodiment of the State) is required to obey the letter and spirit of its own treaties of shared rule, originating with the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

‘ “This is the fulfillment of that promise, held out by the Crown 250 years ago.”

Brian Slattery, Osgoode Hall Law School’

 Aboriginal Title

  • Control of ancestral lands and the right to use them for modern economic purposes, without destroying those lands for future generations.
  • Government can create works that show overwhelming value, but have to show substantive consultation and must reconcile those needs with aboriginal rights to title.
  • The Court explicitly states that the decision holds for all lands that were not ceded to the Crown by treaty.
  • Nearly all of BC.

 

Sacred Priorities Protocol – Could this be a way forward?

Seeding a Community-led Sacred Priorities Joint Mapping Database Initiative to map valuation zones for joint resource and economic development projects

I’ve been networking a respectful technical solution through industry since 2010.

There have been complaints that intangible cultural values are not scientific and therefore should not be allowable at Environmental Review Boards.

SPP proposes a method to have local communities assign values to intangible values, such as landscapes, as scientific/technical values…as a means to find win-wins vs. the old Might Makes Right way of resource extraction.

It is written here at a granular level, with an example and flowchart, for use at the very start of industrial development planning. Years and millions of dollars before a project is assessed by regulators. For example, with mining, after test drilling has identified an economic ore body but before the start of ore body extraction planning.

  • SPP flows out of watching mining projects fail across in BC.
  • The procedure could be used to create technical and governance win-win expertise.
  • Expertise exportable around the globe.

But to work, any Protocol must be centred in the good earth of respect for First Nations Law and Title.

And acknowledgement that when we Europeans and British arrived, we privatized property that wasn’t ours.

If we don’t acknowledge our own law, why should First Nations acknowledge it either?

 

Dave Huer