Kayakers protest Balkans 'dam tsunami' in lake paddle

Canoeists and kayakers out on Lake Bohinj in Slovenia on April 16, 2016
Canoeists and kayakers out on Lake Bohinj in Slovenia on April 16, 2016

More than 60 kayakers took to Slovenia's Lake Bohinj Saturday to kick off a 35-day environmental protest over plans to build dams on rivers in six Balkan countries.

The colourful flotilla, led by Slovenian Olympic rower Rok Rozman, embarked on a 22 kilometre-(13-mile-) long paddle along the lake that will continue along the Sava Bohinjka river.

The "Stop the Dam Tsunami!" movement aims at raising awareness of the impact of dam building on the region's waterways.

According to the Save the Blue Heart of Europe group's website, there are plans for more than 2,700 Balkan dam projects in the coming years, including 113 dams scheduled for construction inside the region's national parks.

"We would like to make people think on hydro energy in a slightly different way: green energy is renewable but the quality of water and environment will change (with the construction of dams)," Neza Posnjak, a protest organiser, told AFP.

She added that the action will continue over the next month when the kayakers paddle 18 mostly wild in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro.

The rivers are renowned for their crystal clear streams, spectacular waterfalls and huge alluvial forests. Critics say dam building will affect river flow and damage biodiversity.

The group will finish its tour on Albania's Vjosa river on May 20.

"The most critical cases are the Sana and Una rivers in Bosnia, the Vjosa river in Albania and the in Macedonia's National park of Mavrovo," said Posnjak.

The environmental paddling action will include kayakers from all six Balkan countries, Germany, Austria and Italy, with local kayakers and environmental activists expected to join in at each stage.

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© 2016 AFP

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Apr 17, 2016
No new dams = no energy storage and load following capacity = no more wind and solar power.

Of course you could always build more coal plants and gas turbines to match the load with renewables, or pay someone else to do it for you so you can at least pretend to be green, but that's not a sustainable option.

Apr 17, 2016
Either you support carbonless power or you don't.

I'd build 1000 1000 megawatt fission plants if I were King of the World.

Apr 17, 2016
Nuclear isn't carbon free. Consider the massive amounts of concrete used in reactor buildings and cooling towers and the vehicle used to mine uranium.

Apr 18, 2016
Yeah, build dams for water that won't be there within 40-years, all that concrete & steel is a huge carbon-footprint not to mention what they do to destroy riverine habitats for watts we can get from wind-solar now that battery-inverter arrays are in containers to over 2-Mwh capacity, the power digitally regulated plugs into any grid.

This is a talk on the only study I'm aware of modeling all the world's glaciers and what to expect on that; "World-Wide Glacier Wastage - Implications for Sea-Level and Streamflow", put dates on when to expect to go to minimal flow; https://www.youtu...NCsmQHy8

This talk on small vertical-axis windmills points out you get 10-times more energy from them than the huge 100m tall ones, complete with field studies and theory. """Opportunities and Challenges for Next-Generation Wind Energy"; https://www.youtu...AcGoyP8Q

Solar-thermal isn't used and can heat-cool homes w/o electricity or fuels ...

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