GB No. 2(13)/94


THE CASCADE ON THE PARS TA RIVER

Cascades are becoming popular. Currently there are plans to construct cascades on the Wis≥a River and on the ParsÍta River. The ParsÍta is a river in the Koszalin Voivodeship which flows directly into the Baltic Sea. It is a river of exceptional natural beauty.

Based on some pre-war German conceptions, the Union of Communities of the ParsÍta River Basin is planning to build nine dams which are to produce enough energy to provide light for all the towns and communities on the ParsÍta (according to Aura 10/93). It looks promising. It seems that there will be plenty of energy. However, the calculations cited in Aura do not tell the whole story. picture

It is known that the power from a power station on the ParsÍta cascade will amount to 6 megawatts, or 1/5000 of the total power of Polish power stations. In this context it ceases to look so promising. If we consider the whole cost -- environmental as well as economic -- the glitter of the venture starts to pale. The costs are rather large. It is said that the enterprise is to get financial support from the US government. However, the US wont make up for our environmental disasters. Ive never heard about them lending rivers.

The ParsÍta is not a small stream but a 154 km-long river. It is reckoned to be among the most beautiful rivers in Poland and even in Europe. Moreover, it is the natural spawning ground of brown trout. The cascade of dams will essentially prevent the fish from migrating upstream, and it will also spoil the landscape.

The desire of Americans to spoil Polish rivers is astonishing. The US government is to give some financial support to the building of the ParsÍta Cascade. Americans (the Polish-American Enterprise Fund, to be exact) in June, 1993, bought 70% of the shares in the Hydrotrest-Krakůw Ltd., the investor of the Dunajec Dam. Of course it is all referred to as noble and gracious help. According to the president of the Polish-American Enterprise Fund, Mr. Robert Pollan, "Our Fund is an experiment. We would like it to become a channel through which American financial help may flow to Poland."

I wonder if the plans to build the ParsÍta cascade are supported by the Polish Ministry of Environmental Protection, which is famous for its "successful" hydrotechnical concepts.

Stanis≥aw Zubek
ZB 2(56), p 15


GB No. 2(13)/94 | Contents