March 30, 2013

Before they disappear

Costa Rica has some of the best whitewater on Earth.  Many of the classic Costa Rica whitewater runs are either in the process of being dammed, or under consideration for being dammed, to produce electricity.  This article: http://www.canoekayak.com/whitewater-kayak/before-they-disappear/  and  video showcases what will be lost under lakes, or dewatered, by these dams:

From the article:  "...every river in Costa Rica is under constant threat of inundation, or is dammed already. It’s really a tragedy because the rivers of Costa Rica are pristine gems with awesome whitewater, but since the privatization of utilities, nearly every river has been slated for a hydroelectric project. Every river we paddled was affected by this hydro development. "
I understand that a  poor country needing hydropower has the right to build these dams.   Nevertheless I mourn the beauty that will disappear as the result.   Also I think this will greatly affect Costa Rica as a paddling tourist destination, when at the moment it is one of the world's most popular.  As some of you know, I collect photos of the rapids and waterfalls that are above Alabama's hydropower project dams.  This is a video of Clear Creek Falls, which is under Alabama's Smith Lake.

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