Question 8: Can the HPP completely “drain” Lake Baikal?

Question 8: Can the HPP completely “drain” Lake Baikal?

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The most frequent question, a delusional one: it contains accusations against power engineers and HPPs which supposedly have a significant influence on fluctuations in the water level of Lake Baikal.

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.

 

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