A view of Thu Bon River (Source: Internet)

Quang Nam (VNA) – An international seminar took place in the central province of Quang Nam’s Hoi An city on October 27 to discuss sustainable hydropower development and management of the Vu Gia-Thu Bon river basin and Quang Nam-Da Nang coastline.

Participants’ discussions revolved around the hydropower system’s economic benefits as well as impact on society and environment, the integrated management plans for the present and future, and scenarios related to the operation of reservoirs in the Vu Gia-Thu Bon river basin.  

The river basin, which has more than 10,300sq.km with water volume of 20.22 billion cu.m and covers a total length of 225 km in Quang Nam and Da Nang, provides invaluable resources to the 2.5-million population of the two localities.

However, a series of problems – including illegal destruction of riverhead forests, over-exploitation of mineral resources, and decentralised management of rivers and faulty development of hydropower plants – have threatened to destroy the river.

A total of 42 hydropower plant projects have been built on the river, while more than 820 irrigation projects with 72 reservoirs have been constructed in its basin.

The operation of hydropower plants on upstream rivers in Quang Nam often causes a clean water deficit during every dry season in Da Nang.

Assoc. Prof. and Dr. Nguyen Chu Hoi, former Deputy General Director of Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands said weak management over economic activities in the area have hindered growth of both localities.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Mangroves for the Future have selected the basin for a pilot inter-provincial integrated management model, Hoi said.

He suggested the model, if proving effective, be replicated in other areas with similar situations in the country.-VNA