Sat, Mar 16, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Groups seek local input into fate of reservoir plan

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Environmental groups in Yunlin County yesterday pressed for local residents to be allowed to decide the fate of the controversial Hushan Reservoir (湖山水庫).

The project by the Water Resources Agency’s Central Region Water Resources Office aims to create a reservoir with a gross water storage capacity of more than 52 billion square meters. It is scheduled for completion next year.

At the Society of Wilderness’ Yunlin branch office yesterday, seven groups held a joint press conference to urge the government to re-evaluate the project, saying that an 86cm gap at the point where the main reservoir and the connecting reservoirs’ cut-off walls meet, revealed by a councilor last week, would endanger local residents.

In addition, they said that throughout the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment several years ago, local environmental groups provided data to prove that the reservoir will not boost water resources in Yunlin County, but will damage the natural environment, and that it may also be dangerous due to it being constructed near geological fault lines.

The reservoir was said to be unsafe about 10 years ago, Yunlin County Environmental Protection Union chairman Chang Tsu-chien (張子見) said, adding that the discovery of the gap between the cut-off walls proved this and construction should be halted.

The groups urged the government to call a complete halt to the construction project, establish an independent investigation and monitoring task force composed of governmental officials, specialists and civic representatives, and hold a local referendum on the reservoir.

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