Dams are a common site in the Saugeen River watershed. There are 52 dams in the watershed that are over 3 metres in height. Most of these are former mill dams. Some have been converted to produce hydroelectric power while others provide some recreational benefits. Saugeen Conservation owns four dams however the vast majority are privately owned. Some are in very poor condition.
For information on safety around dams, check out the Ministry of Natural Resources webpage at the following link; public safety around dams
The following is an abstract of a Masters Thesis concerning dams in the Saugeen River watershed:
Donald Smith, 2002. "Improving the Sustainability of River Systems Through the Removal of Dams on the Saugeen River, Southwestern Ontario
What are the factors preventing the removal of dams on the Saugeen River and how can they be overcome to facilitate potential improvements to the sustainability of a river system?
Dams played an important role during the settlement of the Saugeen watershed by providing a reliable source of power. While dams still provide some benefit to our society, their importance has diminished considerably. They have significant negative impact on a river system of an environmental, social and economic nature.
Many of these negative impacts could be alleviated if the dams were removed, a practice which is not common in the Saugeen River watershed.
The factors preventing the removal of dams were determined by interviewing officials from regulatory agencies, dam owners and other stakeholders. A plan was developed for working towards the desired future state that included strategies and specific actions to address each of the identified barriers to the removal of dams.
Download the Plan (pdf 184 kb)