Hydropower plants in danger as water capacity reaches high levels

VietNamNet Bridge - Irrigation works and hydropower reservoirs are at risk of damage as the storm season has begun.


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On July 19, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong visited the Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant to examine the volume of water discharge.

The water levels of hydropower reservoirs in the north, especially in Hoa Binh and Son La areas, are higher than in previous years. 

On July 18, the Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant opened one floodgate and the next day opened another floodgate to reduce the reservoir’s water level. All the eight units will run at full capacity day and night with total capacity of 2,400 cubic meters per second. 

The Son La Hydropower Plant also opened a floodgate on the same day. 

Irrigation works and hydropower reservoirs are at risk of damage as the storm season has begun.

Amid the concern that the water discharge from the Hoa Binh Reservoir would lead to rising water levels on the Red River in Hanoi to 7-8 meters, Hoang Xuan Hong from the Large Dam and Water Resources Development Association reassured the public that this would not happen.

He said even if the Red River’s water levels rise to the 7-8 meter threshold, this will still be within the safety line. In principle, the first-class alarm will be set when the water level reaches 9.5 meters, while the second-class alarm will be set when the level reaches 10.5 meters and third-class when the level is at 11.5 meters.

Hong said that the water discharge is necessary to ensure the safety of the water reservoirs during the rainy season and this would not cause negative impact because the flooding is still not high.

In 1971, the water level in Hanoi reached 13 meters, but there were no Tuyen Quang, Son La and Hoa Binh Water Reservoirs at that time. 

However, the 13 meter peak is reached once every 100 years. Even if the water level reaches 13.4 meters, Hanoi will still be safe with a 15.4 meter-high embankment. The water level will reach 15.4 meters only once every 500 years.

In central provinces and Central Highlands, the water reservoirs, most of which are too old and not safe, have become threats for localities.

Nghe An is the province with the highest number of reservoirs (625), and most of them have been used for 30-40 years. 

According to deputy director of the agriculture department Nguyen Sy Hung, 30 out of 92 reservoirs put under enterprises’ management have deteriorated and they cannot be repaired because of lack of money.


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Mai Thanh

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