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Rolling weirs on Red River may bring fatal dangers: experts

VietNamNet Bridge - While the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) insists on the plan to build 5-7 rolling weirs across the Red River to regulate the river’s water level, experts have warned about dangers that could occur.
VietNamNet Bridge - While the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) insists on the plan to build 5-7 rolling weirs across the Red River to regulate the river’s water level, experts have warned about dangers that could occur.

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Vu Trong Hong, chair of the Vietnam Water Resources Association, former Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, said before making decision, MARD must give answers to questions about the purposes of the spillways and their possible impact on the river’s lower course and ecological environment.

“Remember that the Red River, belonging to the Hong-Thai Binh river system, provides water to the whole Red River Delta. If such rolling weirs are built, they would only benefit the upper course, while the water level in the lower course would change,” he warned.

MARD must give answers to questions about the purposes of the spillways and their possible impact on the river’s lower course and ecological environment.

The expert said that Mard should calculate how much water the lower course area needs, while MARD can only build spillways if it is sure that lower course’s people have enough water.

Second, Red River is an ancient river with the slope nearly at zero. Man’s sand exploitation activities have lowered the river bed. 

Scientists have pointed out that sand and suspended particles have been detained by the Hoa Binh and Son La Reservoirs, and by the spillways, if they are built.

If sand cannot go to the lower course, the river bed would be lowered by 2 meters. 

If so, the stability of the river would no longer exist, while all the pumping stations along the Red River towards Thai Binh and Nam Dinh provinces would be inoperable. Meanwhile, Hanoi would lack water resources.

Hong went on to say that no one can say for sure if construction works on the Red River could be strong and stable, because this is an ancient river with a sand bed.

He is concerned if MARD can anticipate the changes in the water level in different areas.

In the central region and central highlands, as hydropower plants block the currents, the lower course has suffered from drought and saline intrusion. 

What will happen in the northern provinces of Thai Binh and Nam Dinh, when spillways, which would also block the currents, are built?

Dao Trong Tu, a river network expert, has also shown his opposition to the project, saying that it would be a ‘bad thing’ if spillways exist on the Red River, which runs across the capital city.


Dat Viet


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