This page is dedicated to information and opinion on Hydropower developments that are proposed on the river Thames.
Thames Anglers Conservancy statement:
The Thames Anglers Conservancy was founded on the premise of ‘Anglers dedicated to protecting and improving the river Thames’ and the message still holds true today, we support all green initiatives that improve the environment.
Our only requisite is that comprehensive scientific data is available to prove that there will be no adverse affects.
In 2008, the Environment Agency regional Director told the then Regional Fisheries Ecology and Recreation advisory committee that no further Thames Weirpools would be developed until the scheme at Romney had been fully assessed for environmental impact, in 2010 they broke that promise. The scheme at Romney is still not operational, this over 10 years on from conception and the earliest possible date now will be Spring 2013.
The Environment Agency are now helping developers on multiple Thames sites with little or no evidence as to the impact on the ecology of the weirpools.
As anglers we understand how important these unique habitats are as principal spawning sites for fish such as barbel, chub and dace. Diverting the majority of the water through turbines not only deprives the weir but also reduces/redirects the energy of the water. This will have a drastic impact on the weirpool fishery environmentally and effect many different species, including the abundance of invertebrates, which are the lifeblood of our rivers.
Consequently, despite our support for clean energy initiatives, we feel that until all the necessary scientific data is available, we will campaign against all Hydropower developments on the Thames.
SNIFFER report August 2011 – Impact of Run of the River Hydro Schemes upon fish population
'The basic design of run-of-river hydropower schemes and the key issues on fisheries were identified.
Large scale and run-of-river hydropower schemes were found to have impacts on fisheries related to impoundment structures impeding migration, altered flow regime in the depleted channel reach associated with diversion of water through the turbine, risks of fish entrainment through the turbines and associated mortality or damage as they pass through the turbines, loss of weir pool fish spawning and nursery habitat, plus potential cumulative effects of multiple schemes on the same river.
It should be noted that these findings and conclusions, drawn from the primary and grey literature, relate mostly to larger impoundment schemes but also small-scale schemes elsewhere in the world; nevertheless the potential impacts largely remain the same, irrespective of the scale of the scheme.'
'End of The River' A highly significant video released in November 2012
Energy produced by small hydropower installations is per definition "renewable" energy – but "green" or "clean" it is certainly not. This film is produced to inform about the small hydropowers devastating impact on our rivers and the life in them.
The WFD is the most substantial piece of EC water legislation to date and is designed to improve and integrate the way rivers, lakes and esturies are managed throughout Europe to safeguard the health of our water environment in the future.
Environmental objectives 'The aim is long-term sustainable water management based on a high level of protection of the aquatic environment'.
Current Thames Hydropower Proposals promoted by the Environment Agency