Boosting the water supplyThe government says it is considering raising the volume of stored water by linking the Andong and Imha dams in North Gyeongsang Province, as part of a project to rehabilitate the country’s four major rivers.
As the government envisions, excess water from heavy rains will be directed from the smaller Imha Dam, which has a capacity of 590 million tons, to the bigger Andong Dam, with a capacity of 1.25 billion tons, boosting the overall volume by around 30 million tons.
The plan seems worthwhile, given that water volume can be increased by a huge margin without having to construct a new dam. Therefore, we recommend that the government connect the plan to its four rivers restoration project and promote it as a solution to the nation’s water shortage problems.
There are extreme gaps in the volume of water that the four rivers ?? the Han, Yeongsan, Nakdong and Geum ?? can contain. If this issue is resolved it would go a long way toward resolving the chronic water shortage problem in some regions.
These days, it’s the gap in water supply, not the gap in income, that is the key to understanding the gap in quality of life between regions. Balanced regional development will still be a distant dream until that gap is narrowed.
Connecting the Han River, which has more than enough water storage capacity, and the Nakdong River, which has been stricken with chronic water shortage, is expected to bring immediate benefits.
The government has emphasized that the four rivers project is an eco-friendly initiative that will give local residents better access to the rivers in their neighborhoods.
The project will involve dredging the river bottom to enhance water storage capacity and beautifying the surrounding area.
But there are still some environmental groups and residents who suspect the project is a cover for a grand canal project the government said it had given up last year.
The government needs to clarify that the mission of the four rivers project is to resolve the country’s water shortage issues.
And rather than continuing to promote the ambiguous concept of ecological benefits, the government needs to explain that the nation’s water supply can be better managed if the four rivers are connected.
The technical difficulties involved in linking the rivers is best accomplished through a large underground pipe, instead of creating an open waterway. Better use of this information could help the government free itself of the suspicion that the project is laying the groundwork for a revival of the grand canal project.