NA deputies propose stricter rules for hydropower water discharge
  • | | November 10, 2011 04:04 PM

>> NA attempts to tackle environmental impacts of hydropower

Many National Assembly (NA) deputies recommend that stricter regulations should be applied to hydropower plants’ water discharge which cause flooding, affecting people’s life.

Ba Ha River Hydropower Plant has been criticised for causing flooding due to irresponsible water discharges

At a discussion on the Government’s draft Law on Water Resource on November 9, the deputies suggested adding the ban of water discharge from hydropower plants which can cause flooding in lowlands into the law.

Tien Phong Newspaper cited Deputy Nguyen Lam Thanh from Lang Son Province as saying that, the draft law does not include any content related to power projects’ investors and organisations for the consequences of water discharge, adding that, the draft law should clearly stipulate their responsibilities with specific compensations.

According to Deputy Phung Duc Tien from Ha Nam Province, the draft law does not mention state management roles of the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development. He proposes stipulating its functions in flood and storm prevention and control, reservoir regulation, irrigation and aquaculture in the law.

Deputy Tran Van Huynh from Kien Giang Province said protecting reservoirs for water regulation should be included in the draft law, noting that construction works should be prohibited to block water flow of reservoirs. Any factory or production unit can be strictly punished if it causes flooding during its water discharge process.

Many deputies also suggested imposing fees on power plants for their rights to exploit water resource.

Hydropower plants condemned for irresponsible water discharges

Two hydropower plants in Binh Dien and Huong Dien districts of Thua Thien-Hue Province released their reservoirs in recent days flooding Hue City and the districts of Phu Vang and Quang Dien.

In Quang Nam Province, the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant released 3,500-5,000 cubic metres of water per second, inundating the districts of Nong Son, Dai Loc, Dien Ban, Duy Xuyen and Hoi An Town, affecting hundreds of thousands of households.

The same situation has been repeated in Phu Yen Province where the Ba Ha River and Hinh River hydropower plants’ water discharge resulted in flooding in Tuy An, Dong Xuan and Tay Hoa.

Irresponsible water discharges by hydropower plants was discussed at a meeting of the NA Standing Committee.

According to a Government report released at the meeting, hydropower contributes about 40% to the national power supply. But many investors in these projects did not properly assess the environmental impact the dams have downstream.

In addition to causing floods during rainy reasons, the lack of a unified hydropower development plan has prevented several hydropower projects from maintaining sufficient water currents and has also caused serious water shortages downstream during dry seasons.

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