Hummm...well I have been attempting to come up with a fitting end of the year blog, but, nothing seems to be flowing along, so....I am wondering if maybe it is the new question that has been gumming up my grey matter.
The link above is where the question arose, perhaps it is one that no one has thought of yet? All we hear about is how long a Dam's lifespan is, but..no one is saying what happens after the life is over. The folks in Jordan River are just finding out what is going to happen where they live. That Dam is 103, and..it is apparently not economical to fix it. In fact, it seems the only economical thing the government (Hydro) feels is suitable is to leave it alone. They know it poses a risk, if an earthquake (sorry Islanders, but the experts are all gungho this big one is coming your way)occurs, the dam will not withstand the shaking, and..it will breach, causing all the water to pour over the homes, and people in it's path. There is no set time for this to happen, but, apparently all those in charge, assume it will. 10 minutes to get the h-ll out, otherwise you're toasted.
Thankfully the experts claim the two Dams in our area are earthquake secure. Thank goodness we can breath easy, knowing they have our butts covered. Myself, I am just a tad leery, can't quite believe much that those so-called experts are spewing. It was not so long ago the sinkhole appeared, and...I am positive the experts never planned for that....thing is still there...
But, here is the question. the big Dam, WAC Bennet, is now 50 years old, they keep telling us the lifespan is 100 years. After 50 years the darn thing needs a massive overhaul that your Hydro rates are pouring steady amounts in to accomplish. This is 50 years. In 100 years, the thing will have reached it's lifespan, and, from what has occurred in 50 years, I can't imagine the costs to repair being economical, since it will be reaching the end of it's time. The smaller Dam, well, heck it's getting up in age, as well. Both these Dams will reach their estimated old age about 2065, give or take a few years. When the Peace Canyon Dam reaches 50, how much is it going to cost, to perk it back up? Do you see where I am going? Mega Millions on WAC in the next few years, then it will be Peace Canyon's time, mega millions again, then of course we will be putting in Site C, so let's spend some mega Billions, in amongst the mega millions, and 50 years down the line..what are we going to hear? Well, it's not going to be us hearing, it will be our children and their children, will they be told that the people along the Peace will either have to get their butts out, or have 10 minutes if there is a breach, because...it is not economically feasible to put any more money into Dams that have reached the end of their lifespan.
See, the thoughts for the future, seem to hover around the 100 year mark, nothing is said beyond that. Of course we don't know who will be in government at that time, cripes, we don't even know if there will be government. We keep hearing how all of these Dams will allow our children to dive head first into industry, with mega kilowatts and untold "affordable" electricity. No one is saying what they will have to do when we hit 125 years, or 150 years. I hold out hope there are still people living on this land, so.....will our government(Hydro) continue upkeep on the ancient Dams? Will those, 125 years from now, suddenly get word that the affordable electricity is a thing of the past, and now no one will be able to afford it, because the sources in the Peace have become a safety concern?
I know earthquakes happened on Vancouver Island 103 years ago. I know there were likely a whole whack of experts involved in the Jordan River Project, folks who figured they knew it all. Well, perhaps we have evolved an inch or two along the path to understanding Nature, but....in truth, we can simply state the best and worst scenarios, and, even now, often the worst scenario goes far beyond what man can imagine. So...today, in 2014 , we can all sleep sound, safe in the knowledge that these two Dams will survive an earthquake. We can shake our heads at the conundrum the poor folks in Jordan River have found themselves placed in. But, still, I can find no answers to what is suppose to happen to the two present, and soon to be third, Dams on the Peace River when the 100 year magic number has been reached.
I live within the shadow of two Dams, holding back an incredible amount of water. All about my town are large sirens, that are suppose to go off in case of a breach. In truth there may be an evacuation plan, but, all I know of this plan is I am to get in my car, and drive to high ground. I'm not even quite sure where that high ground is suppose to be. I have heard Hydro state they are not responsible to ensure those sirens are in working order, that is the town's responsibility. I don't know if all Hydro employees have a set plan they are handed out when they arrive here, but, as an ordinary person, I have never seen such a plan. Thankfully, as I stated, the experts assure us, we are secure. I am grateful it is 2014, and not 2100 as , it is pretty doubtful the experts will be stating security in that time period.
Look to the future...that is not limited to 100 years..that goes on, into infinity, and beyond! Can Crusty think that far ahead? Perhaps infinity is something she just doesn't grasp, perhaps, she figures we will be inhabiting other planets by then, and the mess she is purposing can be left behind? I expect 103 years ago, the government didn't think about 2014, either!