WWF Warned that Planned Power Dams Threaten to Destroy the Delta of Neretva River25. July 2012 - 11:41 — Dejan Georgievski
The World Wide Fund for Nature WWF warned yesterday, July 24, 2012, the public and governments of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina about the serious defects of hydro-energy projects Dubrovnik II, Dabar-Gornji Horizonti and Ombla hydro-power plants (HPP) which, if realized, may have significant adverse effects on the basin and the delta of Neretva river and the population that lives along the river.
“It is an extremely complex project with significant negative consequences for the local population and natural habitat in lower Neretva areas in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The three projects are, essentially, parts of one grand hydro-technical project to capture, collect and redirect water from the basin of Neretva to the basin of Trebišnjica river, and then further redirect significant portion of Trebišnjica’s water from Popovo Polje, OMbla, Bay of Mali Ston and the delta of Neretva towards Dubrovnik II HPP”, said Zoran Mateljak, Local Coordinator for WWF Bosnia and Herzegovina in the press conference held in Zagreb.
WWF says that such a huge project, without proper approach, preparation and involvement of the wider community, can have extremely negative social and environmental consequences. According to latest exsisting plans, the quantities of water redirected from Neretva and Trebišnjica basins to Dubrovnik II HPP will exceed the total flow of water of Neretva at Mostar, with dramatic effects on hydrology and ecology of the whole region of Eastern Herzegovina and the Bay of Mali Ston, all the way to the delta of Neretva.
WWF adds that the realisation of the projects will cause salinisation of the delta and complete destruction of agricultural production in the area. Furthermore, it could dry out the Hutovo Blato marshes, park of nature and one of the biggest sanctuaries for migratory birds in the Balkans, and the flow of Neretva would change irreversibly, with unpredictable effects on fish population in the river.
WWF notes the effort to realize the three projects before the adoption of the Management Plan for Basins of Neretva and Trebišnjica rivers, which involves both countries and the two entities in BiH. The preparation of the plan is financed bz the World Bank through the Global Environment Facility, and it should provide the foundations for management of these cross-border water resources.
WWF called on the governments of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to suspend the activities on the planned projects until a joint strategic envirionmental impact assessment is completed and until the Strategic Plan is adopted and operational. The organisation adds that the success of the said projects depends on the positive opinion of the general public and European institutions and announced that it will appeal to both in the push to get a review of the three power dam projects. (Source: WWF in Croatia/AbrašMedia)
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