S. Korea’s $18 bln water vision nears completion
South Korea is nearing completion on an USD18 billion project that will realize President Lee Myung-bak’s vision for the restoration of the country’s four major rivers while supporting green power and green agriculture.
Three years after Lee launched the project in 2009, the project is almost finished and will be completed before the end of the year, the project’s environmental administrator, Cha Yoon-jung, recently told the Hürriyet Daily News.
The project is called the “National River Restoration,” better known as the “Four Rivers Project,” a reshaping and rehabilitation of portions of four of South Korea’s biggest rivers, the Han in the northwest, the Nakdong in the southeast, the Geum in the west and the Yeongsan in the southwest.
The overall project was broken into three sets: revitalizing the four rivers, projects on their 14 tributaries and the restoration of other smaller-sized streams. The project had five key objectives as well, namely, securing abundant water resources to combat water scarcity; implementing comprehensive flood-control measures; improving water quality and restoring river ecosystems; creating multipurpose spaces for local residents and fostering regional development centered on the rivers.
The restoration entails the building of 20 new dams, the raising of 87 existing dams, the raising and buttressing of hundreds of kilometers of river banks, as well as the dredging of almost 700 kilometers of river to a depth of six meters.
Paraguay, meanwhile, is now looking to South Korea’s experience in the project for advice on revitalizing a new South American plan that accommodates environmental impacts and seeks an eco-friendly and sustainable development approach to developing one of the largest river systems in the world.