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Reservoir control to benefit millions

Update: June, 24/2014 - 09:09
Under the decision, operations of the A Vuong, Dak Mi 4 and Song Tranh 2 reservoirs wil be strictly controlled during the flood season between September and December. — Photo dantri

DA NANG (VNS) — More than 1.7 million people and thousands of hectares of rice in the central province of Quang Nam and Da Nang City will soon be protected from heavy flood damage and drought.

This follows a Government decision to more efficiently operate existing reservoirs in the Vu Gia-Thu Bon River basin.

The decision was announced by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment in Da Nang yesterday.

Under the decision, operations of the A Vuong, Dak Mi 4 and Song Tranh 2 reservoirs wil be strictly controlled during the flood season between September and December.

This would require co-operation between the ministries of Natural Resources and Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Industry and Trade.

Search and rescue committees in Da Nang and Quang Nam Provinces will also be involved.

The decision also calls for strong safety measures to be taken by the three hydropower plants in the Vu Gia-Thu Bon river system to minimise losses caused by the discharge of water from their reservoirs

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Nguyen Thai Lai, said it was a timely decision on balancing electricity production and ensuring the safety of lowland populations and crops.

Deputy director of the Da Nang department of agriculture and rural development, Huynh Van Thang, said the decision would helpboth localitiesin dealing with salinity during drought and prevent heavy damage in flood season.

However, Ngo Viet Hai, general director of Power Plant Corporation No 2 said investors who build and operate hydro-electricity plants could make losses if the water in reservoirs was kept or released based on schedules made by ministries and provinces instead of by plant operators.

"We would lose VND645 billion (US$30.7 million) if we reduced the capacity of three hydropower plants – Song Tranh 2, Dak Mi 4 and A Vuong in flood season," Hai said.

He requested ministries and authorities in Quang Nam and Da Nang to carefully supervise the operation of hydropower plants in the Vu Gia-Thu Bon river system.

During the rainy season, which occurs from September, the reservoirs release water for the dam's safety, but this can cause unexpected floods in downstream areas.

Last year, the central region experienced losses of VND28 trillion (US$1.3 billion) due to flood and storms. — VNS

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