Chalillo Dam

Editorial

Harry Lawrence
The Reporter (Belize)
April 5, 2001

Geologist Charles Wright’s work suggests that if the mostly granite area of mountain country is undermined by limestone, it would be sheer folly to proceed with a large dam at Chalillo.

The late Charles Wright, who chose to live in Punta Gorda for much of his life, was a world renowned geologist and consultant. He was the principal architect of the book Land Use Survey in Belize, a valuable resource book now out of print.

Charles Wright’s modesty was exceeded only by his vast treasure-house of knowledge about land use in general. On the subject of land use in Belize he was the recognized highest authority.

Charles Wright was one of the few hardy men to inspect this country on foot, acre by acre from north to south and from east to west . With his extended knowledge of geology he was and is today the unchallenged grey eminnce on land use in Belize.

If Charles Wright says that there are limestone caverns in the general area where Fortis plans to establish its new Chalillo Dam, this is valuable information which cannot be dismissed lightly.

Charles Wright lived and died long before Fortis even heard of Belize. He wrote his book on land use in Belize long before it was fashionable for people to call themselves environmentalists. He has no axe to grind and no pet project to promote. If there is one single authority who can assist Belize in determining where a dam should or should not go, that authority is Charles Wright.

It has now been revealed that Charles Wright examined the area around the Raspaculo River basin as a possible dam site for a hydro-power and decided against it. He reported that he found outcropping of crinoidal limestone which told him that there were limestone caves underneath the subsoil.

Armed with this information, we can investigate and verify for ourselves to what extent this mostly granite area of mountain country is undermined by limestone. If the limestone is as prevalent as the report suggests, it would be sheer folly to proceed with a large dam at Chalillo.

Categories: Chalillo Dam

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