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Accueil :: Discovery :: Heritage and traditions :: Water and dams

Water and dams

Water, the source of Beaufortain...

Water is the origin of the world and helps farms to flourish. It is also one of Beaufortain's priceless treasures. Between the sky that borders it and the earth where it has its roots, the area benefits from a geological layout which offers good surface water drainage, providing water for its pastures and producing tender, green grass for the cows that graze there. While water is a source of life, it also became a major factor in economic development at the end of the 19th century. Nonetheless, it would be the interwar period that would see the advent of hydroelectricity, with the post-war reconstruction symbolising the great need for it.

Energy was then nationalised and EDF was founded in 1946, galvanised by giant construction sites such as those at Girotte and Roselend.

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Constructions worthy of the pharaohs

The hydroelectric development at Beaufortain would prove controversial and was also a source of major upheavals. While the construction of these dams was on a scale worthy of the pharaohs and required a large workforce, creating many jobs and thus delaying the rural exodus that afflicted Savoy at the time, it halted the development of ski tourism that was taking place in Roselend, ironically preserving the area from mass tourism. The hamlet of Roselend and 15 of these 54 mountain pastures were then engulfed by the water.

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Gold rush!

As hydraulic energy is the number one renewable energy for electricity production in France and throughout the world, the dams which were once unpopular with some have become a real asset for the current trend for sustainable development and tourism. These huge high-altitude lakes create landscapes of a rare beauty which are ideal for walking, fishing or just contemplating the scenery...

However, please remember that however tempting it seems, swimming is prohibited in the dam lakes...

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