La Roche-qui-Boit dam removal
Sélune river, Normandie, France, 2021-2022
La-Roche-qui-Boit dam © ERN France
As confirmed by the authority of res judicata and separate from the legal justification for removal, the Selune Valley renaturation project was necessary for both scientific and technical reasons. (See the chronology of the removal).
The Vezins and La Roche-Qui-Boit reservoirs (36 m and 16 m high) create extremely large bodies of water that take away the natural character of close to 25 km of the Sélune River and constitute an unsurmountable hinderance for migratory fish that frequent this coastal river. 700km2 of the Sélune watershed are inaccessible.
Given the impacts, the regulatory obligations made previously to bring them up to standard, water quality problems they generate, their low energy productivity and reports which conclude it is technically impossible to rearrange them, removal the dams at the end of the concession period back in 2007 was requested by NGOs and also the represantatives of SAGE. Local opposition has also been strong. The removal project was stopped in 2014 but recommenced in 2017 and is now ongoing. Deconstruction of the dam is scheduled for 2021-2022. An important scientific monitoring program has been supporting this project since 2012.
The Sélune dams removal project
The works and project management
EDF, the project manager for the site, will launch the sediment management work in June 2020. The final emptying of the reservoir is scheduled for April 2021 and the deconstruction of the dam at the end of 2021-early 2022.
Videos & reportages
Characteristics of the La-Roche-qui-Boit dam
– Built between 1916 et 1919
– Located 12 km from the sea
– Power : 1,6MW
– Production : 4,7 GWh
– Height : 16 mètres
– Width : 129 mètres
– Volume of the reservoir : 1,4 millions m3
– Length : 4 km
– Surface : 40 ha
La Roche-Qui-Boit dam removal
Sélune river after emptying reservoir, habitats recovered