Today we handed over our petition to the local politicians LH-Stvin Ingrid Felipe and LH-Stv Joseph Geisler. Together with the WWF and the citizens' initiative "BI gegen Wasserkraftanlage Tumpen", we repeated our demands to stop the Tumpen dam and to finally take the concerns of the NGOs seriously.
The concerns of the residents of Tumpen about sinkholes, floodrisk and a reservoir that will be built precisely in a large mud flow area, have been played down by politicians and the operating company for more than 10 years. The geology in Tumpen has never been properly investigated - the geological report on file for the hydropower plant is a plagiarism, as Markus Wilhelm revealed already 10 years ago.
Furthermore the concerns from a nature conservation point of view have not been taken into account. The license on nature conservation law from 2015 states that the power plant would mean a "massive and long-term impairment of a very sensitive and unique river section that is worthy of protection" and the water management and energy experts have concluded that there is no long-term public interest in building this hydropower plant. Nevertheless, today LH-Stvin Felipe and LH-Stv Geisler again spoke of 'balancing' energy policy objectives against other interests. But this 'balance' does not exist!
The operating company claims there will be no impact on the water levels of the downstream river sections after the water is led back into the river bed in Habichen. But the kayakers will not be fobbed off with assumptions of the mayors of Umhausen and Oetz. Therefore, WET asked a renowned hydromorphologist for his opinion. His statement shows that nobody can possibly know the exact effects of the power plant, especially of reservoir flushings, on the Wellerbrücke section and the further course of the river - because it has never been investigated! The operating company tries to wipe away concerns without any substantial evidence of the possible impacts of the project.
We therefore demand again: all open questions must be clarified before the construction of the hydropower plant can continue! Instead of relying on the political will of the Tyrolean government and the faith and good will of involved mayors - the operating company must submit substantial expert evidence. We demand facts and research on the topics the operating company is awfully quiet about - before the 'balancing' of different interests can even begin.
Photo: Anton Vorauer, WWF