Sediment chokes icon Dominican dam, agency warns
Santo Domingo.-The Regional Development Council (CRD) technical department on Monday listedthe problems and potential solutions for the country’s hydroelectric dams basedon several studies.
At the top ofthe CRD list is Tavera dam, built at a cost of over US$45 million in 1973, whichsupplies 96 megawatts of energy, irrigates 9,100 hectares of farmlands andsupplies the main aqueducts in the Cibao region.
"Aftermore than 40 years since built, the population which depends on the dam asks:What’s happening?, Is it that the dam is empty?"
The CRD respondsthat the dam is not empty, "it’s full, but with sediment, rubble, treetrunks, garbage and much more."
The CRD warnsthat the problem is such that the 63 meters of the dam’s water surface at 80meters above sea level is now totally sedimented, leaving just 17 meters tostore water.
"The reasonis that even if it rains in the river basin, it doesn’t accumulate the amountof water that the dam was designed to store."
Technicalcriteria CRD conclude that it has that affected the Taveras dam, is the same asthe other dams in the country, the absence of adequate reforestation of theirsockets.
"After thefour decades elapsed since 1973, deforestation in all watersheds has expandedand the expected consequences have been: reduced river flows that feed thedams, accelerated soil erosion and rivers swelling in rainy weather are becomingmore intense and cause more flooding and shorten the dams’ lifespan, the CRDwarns, adding: Deforestation in the country is very damaging.