Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I went to see some of PG&E's dams and diversions on Butte Creek and the West Branch Feather River yesterday. It's always amazing to see the huge environmental damage that is accepted in order to generate relatively little power. As someone pointed out, these dams may be "renewable" but they are certainly not green.

Round Valley Dam.

Snag "Lake" behind Round Valley Dam. All that dam for this? This place was obviously once an amazing meadow. Now it's just dust. Where's the water?

Down there?

I like this shot. This is Hendricks Head Dam on the West Branch Feather. You can see the river on one side, but not on the other.

Looking upstream above the dam.

Looking downstream after the water has been removed by PG&E. PG&E removes as much as 90% of the total flow of this river.

This is supposed to be a fish ladder. Nice try.

This is where the water goes. Into diversion canals that lead into a tunnel bored through the mountainside. The tunnel takes the water to a completely different drainage over six miles away.

This is where the West Branch Feather ends up, in a pond (a forebay actually) waiting to be dropped through a powerhouse. Isn't it purdy?

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