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Soča valley soon under water?

Soca

Soca: projects for large-scale dams failed already once in the 1970s in the face of opposition from the population. © jwpriebe / flickr.com

The proposal was made by Slovenia's Ministry of Economic Affairs just before the summer break. Five hydroelectric power plants are to be built on the Soča river and its tributaries, the Ucja and Idrijca.
This despite the fact that a law dating from 1976 protects the largely untouched river and its tributaries on the Italian-Slovene border. The Soča rises in the Triglav National Park and then flows largely through a Natura 2000 region.
Section 565 of the draft text to the new Energy Act provides that the provisions protecting the Soča valley be lifted. It is felt that only between 20 and 30 per cent of the possibilities for electricity generation are currently being used. The Slovene Alpine Association is critical of the fact that "the country's silverware" is now being sold off in the process, adding that there have not even been any studies on the risks and the impact on the environment. CIPRA Slovenia warns that, in signing the Alpine Convention, the country committed itself to preserving unspoilt and protected areas. Given the numerous objections raised by environmental protection agencies and tourist organisations, the public consultation phase has been extended from July to the end of September 2011.
Source: www.bootberg.de/news/4/15 (de), www.alpenmagazin.org/index.php?option=com (de)