Water used for Kárahnjúkar dam worth ISK 1.6 billion Skip to content

Water used for Kárahnjúkar dam worth ISK 1.6 billion

An independent committee established to evaluate the worth of water rights in relation to Káranhjúkar dam in the eastern highlands delivered its results this week, concluding the water rights were worth ISK 1.6 billion (USD 24 million, EUR 18 million) in total.

Almost 100 land owners in east Iceland are entitled to a portion of that sum. The committee’s conclusion is not necessarily final, because land owners have the right to appeal to legal courts. Some have already decided to do so, Fréttabladid reports.

The committee’s conclusion on the worth of water rights is much higher than original estimates of the National Energy Company, which operates Kárahnjúkar dam. Original estimates were between ISK 150 to 375 million (USD 2.3 to 5.7 million, EUR 1.7 to 4.2 million).

The committee was established by landowners, who are entitled to water rights in the eastern highlands, and the National Energy Company as a compromise to independently estimate the worth of water rights in the region and how much each landowner should receive in compensation.

In mid-May the state-appointed Wilderness Committee ruled that a large part of the eastern highlands, previously believed to be owned by private individuals, did in fact belong to the state. Thus the Icelandic State is also entitled to compensation for water rights in relation to the construction of Kárahnjúkar dam.

The Wilderness Committee’s ruling can also be appealed to legal courts, and the time limit to do so has not yet run out.

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