If the proposals for a power plant at Bláfell mountain are realized, the flow of Gullfoss waterfall would be considerably reduced as the plant would be located above the waterfall. Furthermore, great disruption would be caused to the waterways and natural wonders in the area, and the landscape would be altered substantially.
Bláfell Power Plant
River Hvítá in Árnessýsla
- Bláfell Power Plant
Rivers Hvítá and Jökulkvísl in Árnessýsla County
Proposals exist for no fewer than six power plants in the rivers Hvítá and Jökulkvísl (also known as Jökulfall) in Árnessýsla County. Four of these proposals await further assessment, namely the Búđartunga, Haukholt, Vörđufell and Hestvatn power plants, while the other two, Gýgjarfoss and Bláfell, are classified as protected. These last two are also the most controversial, as they entail damming above the famous Gullfoss waterfall and might adversely affect its flow.
A number of natural wonders are found in the Hvítá river basin, including Hvítárvatn lake and the Hvítárnes peninsula, Hvítárgljúfur canyon, Pollengi, Tunguey and Höfđaflatir. Four locales are protected: Ţórarinsstađir, Laugahvammur, Búđarárbakki and Tjarnarrústin.
In its 2004-2008 Environmental Protection Outline, the Environmental Agency of Iceland put forth proposals for the conservation of Hvítárvatn lake, Hvítárnes peninsula, Karlsdráttur, the Brúará river, Skálholtstunga and Höfđaflatir. Skálholtstunga and Höfđaflatir are relatively untouched marshlands near the river Hvítá. Pollengi and Tunguey are also marshlands, and are of great importance for birdlife and vegetation in the area. Most marshlands in South Iceland are either damaged or have been drained.
It is also thought important to keep the Hvítá river basin below Gullfoss waterfall free of power plant construction (Haukholt, Vörđufell, Hestvatn and Selfoss), one reason being the importance for birds of many areas around the river, e.g. the Ölfusá river delta. The river is also used for river rafting. A power plant at Selfoss could furthermore have an adverse impact on fish migrations in the river Hvítá, as well as other aspects of its vast river basin.
The river Hvítá is a glacial river that originates in Langjökull glacier.
The river Sogiđ joins the river Hvítá at Öndverđanes and forms the river Ölfusá. The total length of the river Hvítá from its origin to the Ölfusá river delta is 185 km, making it Iceland‘s third longest.
Hvítá flows via Gullfoss waterfall and the Hvítárgljúfur canyon, both of which are protected areas.
Hugmyndir hafa veriđ um ađ virkja Hvítá viđ Lambafell norđaustan viđ Bláfell á Kili, skammt neđan ármóta Hvítár og Jökulkvíslar (Jökulfalls). Bláfellsvirkjun ćtti ađ vera 76 MW ađ afli en virkjun myndi hafa áhrif á jarđminjar og vatnafar á svćđinu og einnig myndi landslag verđa fyrir áhrifum. Rennsli Gullfoss myndi minnka.