Environmental Implications of the Keeyask Generating Station on the Nelson River in Manitoba
The Keeyask Generating Station is a dam that is currently being built on the Nelson River in Manitoba. With the dam not yet completed, there is concern for the rising water levels once the dam is operational among Aboriginal communities that inhabit the land surrounding the river and the impact it will have on the surrounding environment. The rising water levels due to the implementation of the dam create the potential of flooding which will effect Aboriginal communities, mercury levels, endangered species, and vegetation. The aim of this study is to create a GIS-based Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) in order to evaluate the environmental impact of the Keeyask Generating Station based on factors of high concern. Criteria for this study was determined through literature reviews and research and weighted to use within the MCE model. The model produced three final maps that displayed the environmental implications of the Keeyask Generating Station at low, medium, and high inundation. It was determined that the dam will affect the Aboriginal communities indirectly through impact on the surrounding animal and plant species and rise of mercury levels. It was concluded that the Keeyask Generating Station will have a significant impact on the surrounding environment through various ecosystems. The authors of this study recognize that there are variants and a level of subjectivity in MCE models and limitations that could be improved, and further research is required.