The risks of diverting water

Thuong Kon Tum dam, which is built in the Dak Snghe River watershed, is one of the biggest hydropower projects in the basin of the Se San river. The effect of the dam is still questionable but it raises concerns about environmental impacts as the project will submerge more than 382 hectares of watershed protection forests in Kon Tum province and divert water into the Tra Khuc river in Quang Ngai province. Reservoirs or protection of forests? From highway 676 looking down on the Dak Snghe river (Kon Plong district, Kon Tum province), the eyecatching scenery is the deep green forests with a rich ecosystem. These watershed protection forests are very condensed with many large trees. According to a 2007 survey by the Institute of Tropical Biology, the Kon Plong forest community with an area of over 65,00 ha, is located in a mountainous ecological area with a diverse forest community of 644 species of plants. This area is also the habitat of many species of birds, mammals, reptiles included in the world’s red list.

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