Hydroconsult's experience in this field dates back to 1962, the year the company was established. At this time the purpose of the work was to assess river regulation effects on land use practices and potentials, as a basis for water court decisions. Later, the concept of EIA appeared, expanding teh scope of investigations to present levels.
|Complete environmental impact assessments|
|Studies in our core disciplines as part of an EIA|
|Special expertise in water, sediments, and river regulation|
|Small as well as large projects are considered|
The people and businesses potentially affected by the project are those owning land next to the river, upstream and downstream from the dam, and those using the river's water in one way or another. In this study, all values worth protection have to be considered, and the way in which these values may be threatened by the project.
The report from Hydroconsult is an independent expert evaluation, not an evaluation trying to support the client's case in the water court. The client himself has to argue, based on the expert report. This division of roles greatly fascilitates the proceedings, saving time and money for the applicant.
The project itself involves excavating a channel and tunnel from the Mediterranean Sea to the Qattara depression in the Sahara desert, letting the sea water into the desert, and a hydropower plant of 1800 MW. Since the evaporation is large in Sahara, a steady stage is reached with a new lake at about -50 m a s l with an area of about 13 500 km2 and a water discharge of 700 m3/s. So apart from the obvious creation of a brine lake, what would the environmental effects be?
The study included sand transport along the coast where the intake would be built; groundwater effects in the Nile valley and in the archelogically interesting Siwa Oasis; seismic effects; aeolian sand drift effects; and of course biological and ecological effects.
Regardless of the EIA results, the project is not economically feasible with the present low energy prices. The EIA, which was conducted in the auspices of Uppsala University, did, however, lead to some interesting scientific results, that has warranted further investigations and research.