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January 19, 2021, 12:49 pm

Most of rivers are cut into pieces by hydropower dams

(13:39:26 PM 13/02/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - “I can call up the names of a lot of rivers which have been broken by hydropower dams, but I cannot remember any virgin rivers--the ones which have not been conquered by humans,” said Dr. Dao Trong Tu, a well- known scientist.


“Hydropower projects have been developed so rapidly. Nature has been “conquered” so easily and devastated so seriously.” Tu began the story about the river network in Vietnam.


In the last 20 years alone, 80 percent of the rivers’ technique potentials have been exploited with nearly 1,000 works built.


Vietnam rushed to develop hydropower plants because it believed this is a kind of clean energy. Meanwhile, a lot of research works have pointed out that the greenhouse gas emissions of some hydropower dams are even higher than that of thermopower plants.


Humans have to sacrifice many things for hydropower plants. Local people have to leave their homeland, change the living habits, while the historical relics and archaeological value disappears because of the hydropower plants.


The local people in the hydropower plants’ areas have to live in fear because of the “water bombs” hung over them.


Troubles occurred at 3 percent of the reservoirs and dams all over the world. In many cases, the troubles caused the dam breaking, the catastrophe that took the lives of a lot of people.


At present, small dams are believed to face higher risks. However, scientists have pointed out that big dams should also be warned about the dam breaking.


Humans also have to exchange forests for hydropower plants. About 20,000 hectares of forests have been reportedly damaged, but the real figure is believed to be higher.


The decrease in the forest area would lead to serious floods, landslides, and especially, to the reduction in the dams’ life.


Vietnam should learn the lesson of the dam breaking in China which killed 26,000 and in India which killed 5,000-10,000 people.


In Vietnam, the “Song Tranh water bomb,” if serious accidents occur, may drift 65,000 people in Hoi An City out to the sea.


The climate change, believed to be an important reason which will make the world change, is the result of the human cupidity.


The multi-purpose hydropower plants, if managed in a cautious and effective way, can help ease the floods’ negative impacts on the lowlands. The people in the Red River Delta, for example, have no more worries about the floods since the day the Hoa Binh, Thac Ba and Son La hydropower plants were set up.


However, most of the power plants on other rivers are single-purpose works, which means that they only aim to generate power or serve the irrigation.


When the weather goes more extreme, the single-purpose reservoirs would not be able to operate as people want, and they would make the negative impacts of the floods more serious to the lowland people.


“It would be too venturous if continuing developing hydropower plants,” Tu said,when asked about what Vietnam should do to revive the river network and the hydropower plant development program.


“It’s better later than never,” Tu said. “I think it is necessary to stop the hydropower plant development.”


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