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Originally posted on 25 February 2010

What we are waiting for, a sunny day at Kelham Island weir, the start of the ecological survey area. The buildings on the right in the background follow the path of the goit to the wheel pit.

The volunteers at Sheffield Renewables, like most people in Sheffield, have been surprised by the unusual amount of snow this winter. Is this a result of our lifestyle choices? All of this snow and rain has meant that the Kelham Island area of the River Don has had alot of water flowing through it every day since the ecological survey was commissioned. If this supply of large amounts of water becomes a regular occurrence, it should increase the output of a hydro power scheme.

Unfortunately the timing of this high water flow has meant that our ecological study has been put on hold. The surveyors need to examine the river bed when there is very little water in it, to find out how much the river bank is affected by changes to the amount of water flowing through. To ensure that there is no major disruption to existing wildlife, the amount of water that we are allowed to use for hydro power in the goit might be limited. We are looking forward to the end of the snow season and have our fingers crossed for some sunny days so that the surveyors can continue gathering the information we need.

The good ecological survey news is that the area being studied has been extended. Originally the study only examined the affect that a hydro power scheme would have on the stretch of the River Don that will have less water flowing through it when water is diverted through the goit. Now the study will also examine the affect that increasing the water through the goit will have on the existing wildlife in and around the goit itself. This will enable us to ensure that our scheme is developed in as environmentally friendly a way as possible.

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