Montenegro concerned with possible adverse effect from the construction of hydropower plants in BiH

Montenegro concerned with possible adverse effect from the construction of hydropower plants in BiH

On the occasion of the continuation of the activities of the construction project of the Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) “Buk Bijela” on the Drina in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Water Council of Montenegro proposed that Montenegro initiate a procedure with the ESPOO Secretariat, in accordance with international conventions, to obtain all relevant documentation and assess the possible effect of the realization of that project on Montenegro.

As Montenegro was not consulted by BiH on the adoption of a new project and the possible start of the construction of hydropower plants, in order to prevent possible negative consequences on the Montenegrin side, the Council proposed that the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism initiate a procedure to remove any doubts of a possible impact.

In hydrological terms, the river Drina, on which the construction of HPPs is planned, originates from Piva and Tara, which are formed in Montenegro and mostly make up the water balance of the Drina. This data justifies the fear that the realization of the project on the Drina will have an impact on the water regime on the territory of Montenegro. For an accurate assessment of the transboundary impact, it is necessary to review all project documentation, on the basis of which Montenegro could issue an expert opinion on granting cross-border consent to the Buk Bijela project.

The possible impact of the Buk Bijela project, should it be realized, was recently discussed by the Water Council at a session initiated by a member of that body, a representative of the NGO Green home, who informed the Council that they had already submitted a complaint to the ESPOO Secretariat, which was accepted.

The President of the Water Council, Director General of the Directorate for Water Management of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Momčilo Blagojević, emphasized the importance of including all expert potentials of the Water Council in assessing the impact of this project.

In this context, the Council will provide full professional and scientific support to the competent institutions in preparing a final opinion on the possible impact of this project.

The Water Council was formed by the Government in June last year at the proposal of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in accordance with the Law on Waters, with the aim of contributing as an advisory and expert body to the implementation of water management policies for conservation and sustainable water management in Montenegro, as well as addressing a number of challenges in this area./ibna