We’ll once again repeat it for those who do not want to think themselves: power engineers do not pump the water out, but maintain a certain level. If HPP is removed, the amount of water drained from Baikal will be 1.5 times larger, then there will definitely be no possibility of regulating the level of the lake.
At the same time, the role of HPPs is purely technical: the power engineers do not make decisions, they execute the commands of the Yenisei Basin Water Administration of the Federal Water Resources Agency. And this Federal Agency, in its turn, directly subordinates to the Government of the Russian Federation and executes its resolution No. 1667, and it says nothing about the possibility of “draining”.
Purely theoretically, in terms of a brain game, you can indulge in fantasies. If the gates of hydroelectric units and bottom outlets are open to maximum, the flow rate will grow to 7040 cubic meters per second (that is, up to 222 cubic kilometers per year) and operate the HPP this way for some time, then the water level will strongly decrease. But the HPP won’t be able to work this way for a long time. The case is that there is an underwater ridge (the famous Shaman Stone is its peak) in the source of the Angara at a depth of 0.5 to 4-6 meters, this ridge is blocking the river source like a natural dam. When the water level in Lake Baikal decreases, pretty soon the capacity of the river source will be reduced, and at some point the current of Angara will be completely blocked. And the author and executors of the crazy order will be punished to the full extent, in accordance with the Russian legislation.
A month has passed since the moment of signing of the decree on the transfer of two regions from the Siberian Federal District to the Far Eastern Federal District. We talked with the experts and found out how this fact would affect the fate of Baikal and whether anything would change for the lake in the future.
During the two days, October 30 and October 31, the level of Lake Baikal rose to 456.99-457.01 meters above the level of the Pacific Ocean. The lake that had experienced a period of severe low water for four years surprised everyone once more.
It was easier to close the Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill than to remove the damage done by it to Lake Baikal.