On 9 October SEPA published the Significant
Water Management Issues (SWMI) report for Scotland.This
long awaited report details the types of issues which
SEPA would like to see tackled through the Water
Framework Directive. It asks for people's views on
the issues and remedial actions. The consultation
closes on 8th April 2008.
Of particular interest is section 9 (page 49)
which deals with hydropower abstraction.
This section starts of with the customary rosy
portrayal of hydropower, exaggerating its importance
in terms of carbon emission reduction.
Nevertheless the report then lists a number of
the ways in which hydro schemes can damage the
environment, including drying up rivers.
But crucially, it goes on to say that "SEPA
considers it possible to achieve important improvements
in the water environment by moving existing schemes
towards modern standards oof good practice" and
they propose four mechanisms by which this may
potentially be done:
Redistributing water without affecting generation
Identifying improvements which can be made
without affecting volumes of water released (e.g.
improving or installing fish passes)
Identifying places where large improvements
can be made for little loss of generation.
Applying best practice design to old schemes
and upgrade their generating efficiency
The third of these points is particularly
For the first time SEPA seem to have publicy indicated
that some loss of generation may be justified where
large problems exist.
This is exactly what we have been saying. More
water must be released than that being offered
Now is your opportunity to help.
Please let SEPA now what you think!
Email SEPA here