Completing legal framework of operation managing hydropower reservoir

This is a statement by Mr. To Xuan Bao – Deputy Director General of Industrial Safety Techniques and Environment Agency (Ministry of Industry and Trade) on discussing with the reporter of Power Magazine.

Mr. To Xuan Bao

Reporter: Many hydropower work owners said, the legal framework of currently managing, operating dam safety and hydropower reservoir has not been able to adapt to the requirements and needs to adjust, supplement. Can you show your opinions about this problem?

Mr. To Xuan Bao: At present, dams and hydropower reservoirs are the objects to be the adjusted scope of many legal normative document groups such as Construction sector group; group of dam safety management, downstream area safety and reservoir operation; hydro-meteorology group; water resources group, etc.

The legal normative document system for hydropower can be confirmed as comparatively adequate, but some contents are not in line with the real situation. Particularly, Decree No. 72/2007/ND-CP Regulating dam owners having to build up flood and storms prevention options, ensuring dam safety, flood prevention options for the dam’s downstream areas, etc., is not suitable for small reservoirs, etc. Additionally, the documents’ content remains overlapped and lacks of essential contents.

In the next period, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) will continue to co-ordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to draft a Decree to replace Decree No. 72 under the direction of supplementing the essential contents of dam safety management, hydropower reservoir operation to be suitable for current situation; Supplement detail regulations on performing some contents of landmark to determine the surroundings of dam safety protection, etc. At the same time, the MOIT continues to co-ordinate with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, reviews, edits the inter-reservoir operation process to be appropriate for characteristics of river basin and the hydropower works operating according to the process. Furthermore,  the Ministry of Industry and Trade themselves also take the lead in developing the amended circular, supplemented/replaced circulars associated with dam safety management, hydropower reservoir operation to be consistent with the current legal normative document system and the current situation.

Reporter: Dear Sir, some opinions were said that over the last few years, hydropower works discharging flood had caused a great impact on downstream areas in annual flood season. How do you explain for this problem?

Mr. To Xuan Bao: Previously, it exactly remained discharging flood in hydropower works affecting on downstream areas. However, It is necessary to be confirmed that, in two years of 2016 and 2017, hydropower plants effectively implemented the flood discharge operation, closely coordinated with local authorities at all levels to carry out the agreed option, at the same time, timely announced for various levels, branches and people to find out solutions to reduce damages. Particularly, some hydropower works have been positively invested, installed monitoring system, rain gauge system, exact forecast system to make appropriate decision on operation to cut/reduce/slow down flood flowing into the downstream areas.

Currently, except some hydropower plants with large reservoir volume such as Son La, Hoa Binh, Tuyen Quang, etc., implementing flood discharge under the command from the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, other hydropower plants implement flood discharge under the guidance of Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Search and Rescue of the city/province and when flood arrives, the dam owners will promptly support the provincial People’s Committees as advisors for taking appropriate command, whether to discharge or not.

Reporter: In the flood season in 2018, what has Ministry of Industry and Trade directed to hydropower dam owners, Sir?

Mr. To Xuan Bao: Before the flood season, the Ministry of Industry and Trade asked hydropower dam owners to exactly and sufficiently implement the regulations on the reservoir or inter-reservoir operation process approved by the appropriate authorities. In particular, the owners need to proactively propagandize, explain, announce for reservoir operation before and during the operation process in accordance with the current regulations. They should closely co-ordinate with the local authorities to definitely deal with the phenomenon that violates reservoir protection corridor and the surrounding area of protecting dam, flood drainage corridor of works, landmark protection options; propagandize, disseminate downstream area’s residents for safety regulations in the flood drainage corridor area, the information and the flood prevention and fighting commands as well.

Moreover, in the operation process, hydropower dam owners should proactively ask the competent authorities to consider, adjust, supplement for inappropriate contents in operation process to ensure the compliance with the current law, conditions of hydrology, topography, flood drainage corridor, etc., of the downstream areas for the authorities appropriately amending, supplementing with the aims to ensuring the safety of the works and the downstream areas as well.

Reporter: Thank you so much!

Hydropower plants:

- Contributing nearly 40% of the total power output of the entire power system;
- Total reservoir volume: About 56 billion m3, accounting for 86% of the total reservoir volume in the country;
- Ensuring to cut/reduce/slow down flood for the downstream areas in flood seasons; supply water for the downstream areas in dry seasons.

  • 13/08/2018 03:29