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HELP REQUIRED! – Proposed Hydro Scheme on Allt a’ Chaorainn

Allt a’ Chaorainn & Etive Tribs

The SCA have been notified and are consulting with a developer who is proposing a run of the river hydro scheme on the Allt a’ Chaorainn (and potentially all tribs in the Glen). We need to establish what the window for paddling these tribs is in terms of water level, or more accurately flow volume. To do this we need your help. Have you paddled the Allt a’ Chaorainn (or other trib) in the last year? If so, please complete and return the form at the bottom of the page detailing the date and conditions when you paddled.

The developer has been monitoring the flow levels for the best part of a year. What we need to do is establish the days when the river has been running at low, medium and high flows so we can accurately determine what flow rate is required to run the trib. This will inform the calculations of extraction volumes and allow us to determine what (if any) impact this will have upon the viability of paddling this trib. 

It would be great if you could check back your GoPro footage of your trips. Date of run, time, estimated level (use Where’s the Water; scrape – huge) and possibly a screen shot of one or all rapids, so we can compare and even out different people’s opinions of level would be brilliant. 

We will need this info in the next few weeks, so don’t delay. The more info we get, the more accurate a picture of flow rates we’ll be able to construct. It will also help demonstrate how often and popular this run is, (as well as the other tribs) and give us greater influence in our discussions with the developer / authorities. 

There is a logic that holds some weight to say that this scheme may actually increase the window when the trib will be running. The excess water that would render the run too high, would disappear down the hydro pipe, meaning the trib doesn’t get too high, as quickly. The flip side to that theory is that the scheme may artificially suppress the level at the lower end of the levels scale for longer. We can only confirm or dispel these theories once we accurately know flow rates.

Finally, if you are paddling the Etive in the next month, it could be worth taking the time to visit the Allt a’ Chaorainn or other tribs in the Glen (even if you don’t paddle them) and recording, with pictures, the levels you see.
Thanks in advance for your help. 

SCA Access & Environment Committee

Completed observations and video footage/pictures should be forwarded to