Stop explaining and start solving!

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After reading the article titled “Explaining the highs and lows of dam operation” in the last issue of the Journal, I understand Michael Sarich’s  point of view as the senior water resources engineer with the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board (ORRPB), but his explanation isn’t good enough.

After reading the article titled “Explaining the highs and lows of dam operation” in the last issue of the Journal, I understand Michael Sarich’s  point of view as the senior water resources engineer with the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board (ORRPB), but his explanation isn’t good enough. There needs to be an independent study of water management by qualified people who are not
affiliated with the daily operation of the Ottawa River water management board.
One of the flaws I noticed in Mr. Sarich’s explanation was related to the devastation that might be caused upriver if water is held back, particularly in Mattawa, Ontario. Mattawa is, generally speaking, on high ground with the exception of the area where the Mattawa River dumps into the Ottawa. Wouldn’t it be easier to re-locate a minimal number of people compared to the thousands affected downstream? What wasn’t said is that low water protects Highway 417. If this is one of the reasons for maintaining low water in some areas, why not re-construct it on higher ground? Wouldn’t that be more cost effective than displacing hundreds of people and replacing/repairing their homes time and again?
What about La Cave dam above Mattawa? Why is the water so low above that dam right up to Temiskaming? There’s no answer given for that situation.
Organizations should stop wringing their hands and distancing themselves from this devastation and instead dedicate time to solving the problem. Nobody is perfect, and neither is the ORRPB. People can’t take this catastrophe for much longer; it only seems to be getting worse… and more frequent.

W. Laporte
MANSFIELD