Yes, that's how I wanted to spell "damning".
Several weeks ago I posted an item on NARA - North American Recycling Alliance - a grand scheme that would harness the fresh water discharging into James Bay and ship 2,653 cms (cubic meters per second) to the Great Lakes via a tunnel for distribution to Canada and the USA.
The graphics I posted were those of Canadian Romain Audet, so if they flummox you don't ask me to explain them.
Audet makes the point that in addition to gaining revenue and hydroelectric power from the NARA Project, the Canadians could also extract support from the USA to its claim of Canadian sovereignty over the Arctic. This is becoming critical, what with global warming and the anticipated opening of a Northwest Passage shipping route and exploration for hydrocarbon and other resources. That is an interesting trade both countries might be quite willing to make.
Gracious! WWMBS - What would Maude Barlow say?
The key element of the NARA Project is the damming (red line) of the southern part of James Bay:
Here is a diagram of the dam:
The contour lines are bathymetric contours showing depths in meters. The total length of the dam is 231 km (144 miles). The amount of fill required for the dam is 845 million cubic meters. By contrast, the volume of concrete in Glen Canyon Dam is about 3.7 million cubic meters and that contained in Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest, is 39.3 million cubic meters. So we are talking about a big structure!
Here is the cross section of the tunnel from James Bay to Lake Superior:
And here is the 6m-diameter boring machine that will tunnel from James Bay to Lake Superior:
Audet makes an interesting statement:
The average daily inflow of 11,000 cubic meters per second of fresh water from 11 large rivers is lost [underlining his] to the ocean through James Bay.
He also says:
We capture water currently wasted as it washes into the Arctic Sea.
I provide these two quotes because of Audet's use of the words "lost" and "wasted". These words illustrate a viewpoint that was common not so long ago: that we viewed water solely from a "human use" vantage point. I f we are not "using" the water, then it's wasted. That is especially true for fresh water flowing into the ocean - it's wasted because we are not "harvesting" it to irrigate, drink, etc.
I remember listening to my hydrology professors at the University of Arizona in the 1970s talking about taking Columbia River water and piping it to the Southwest USA. This would not cause any problems in the Pacific Northwest because the fresh water was "wasted" flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
I thought such an atavistic view had disappeared. Apparently I was mistaken.
"To have a right to do a thing is not at all the the same as to be right in doing it." -- G.K. Chesterton