The river that wasn’t there

By Deliverance Team on 2014.07.15 In Movies Places Uncategorized


I made a revisit to the rapids of Brattforsen in the river Svartälven, just about north of TDT’s hometown Karlskoga.

When I was here in March earlier this year to shoot the movie ‘Dead Water’, the spring flood was at its best and the dam gates were wide open. The roar of the river and the white water filled me with joy because this was how the river really should look like.

As I now returned a couple of months later I knew what to expect, I’ve seen the dry riverbed houndred of times before. It still makes me angry as hell.

The deadly silence is striking as I walk towards the river. The roaring sound of the wild river is gone. And so is the water. The dam up ahead has closed its gates and is now leading the water through a pipeline to the turbine, leaving this part of the river dry and dead.

It is sad to know that almost one houndred years ago, salmons would now have started their migration to spawn just at this point where I now stand.

What makes me the most angry is that people aren’t angry enough about this enviromental destruction. We have grown accustomed to dry riverbeds and unnatural water reservoirs. This rape on our nature has been going on for almost 100 years (Brattforsen powestation is 75 years old). There is no human alive anymore that knows how the river is supposed to look like. Few people know what function a wild and free river has for the biodiversity. The river is not only life to fishes like brown trout and salmon. The pearl mussel need the trout multiply and the birds eat the insects that hatch in the water.DCIM106GOPRO

The biodiversity is a very complicated matter. Sometimes too complicated for us humans to understand and to get a grasp on. The reintroduction of wolfes in Yellowstone National park is one good example. The wolfes made the deer population move from certain areas near the river, vegetation started to grow there – giving shelter to birds, beavers and amphibians. The Wolves also killed cayotes and so the numbers of rabbits and mice started to grow – which ment more hawks and weasels.

If you want to see how the rapids in Brattforsen should look like (or simply listen to my song ‘The Prozac Apocalypse’), take a look at our movie ‘Dead Water’ below. I am paddling the exakt spots where I am standing in the pictures above. If you are interested in how wolves changed the rivers in Yellowstone National Park, I have  posted a link to that as well.

And oh yeah…

Up yours, Fortum energy corporation!

Henrik Bergqvist /The Deliverance Team


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