Opportunities for increased hydropower diversion at Niagara: An sSWOT analysis Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Flows in the Niagara River are a pivotal resource that transcends the geographical boundary of Canada or the US. Every year the Niagara Falls attracts 12–14 million tourists while the river water, diverted in accordance with the 1950 Niagara River Treaty, is used for power generation and navigation purposes. The paper elaborates on the existing decision support frameworks by explicitly incorporate sustainability and shows how the new framework applies it to the strategic planning for the overall development of Niagara. The analysis sheds light on the current economic, environmental, social and political dynamics through the application of Sustainability SWOT (sSWOT) framework. The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Analytical Network Process (ANP) are both used to identify a priority sequence among potential decision alternatives. The analysis shows that renegotiation of the 1950 Treaty is a preferred option over the current flow restrictions. This exploratory study does not attempt to forecast likely or advisable developments, but rather recommends further research on Niagara, ideally coupled with the opening of new discussions between Canada and the US.

publication date

  • February 2017