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Algal Blooms Have Nothing to do with Dams on the 4 Major Rivers? The Lies from the PMO Exposed
By Park Hong-du
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On September 17, it was confirmed that the Korea Environment Institute (KEI) under the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had reported to the government last May the result of a water quality survey indicating that water quality deteriorated due to increasing algal blooms caused by the construction of dams on the 4 major rivers.

Although well informed of this report, the government still announced that the construction of the dams had nothing to do with the green algal bloom when an "algal bloom crisis" broke out in July and August.

Democratic United Party lawmaker Kang Ki-jung announced that after reviewing the "Policy Research on the Integrated Management of the Quantity and Quality of Water Focusing on the Improved Water Environment of the 4 Major Rivers,"--a report which KEI made to the government--he confirmed that the quality of water deteriorated because of increased algal blooms in the 4 major rivers due to the construction of dams.

On August 7, a green Han River is flowing past Seoul's Cheongdam Bridge. Kim Chang-gil

According to water quality measurements of the Nakdong River from February 2010 ~ March 2012, algal blooms repeatedly occurred every year in midstream and downstream during January ~ April and right after summer. The blooms were so intense that they reached alert levels.

In May 2010, the concentration of chlorophyll-a (a chlorophyll, with which we judge the intensity of the algal bloom) went up as far as 75mg/㎥, and in 2011 it increased to 90mg/㎥. When the concentration of chlorophyll-a is high, it can increase eutrophication, which in turn will increase algae causing algal blooms.

In particular, the report included measurements showing that the correlation between indicators which measure water pollution levels, such as biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphate (TP) and chlorophyll-a had strengthened after the construction of the dams on the 4 major rivers compared to pre-dam measurements.

These results contradict the Ministry of Environment's assertion that eutrophication does not intensify due to the algal blooms since the amount of water has increased and water levels have risen thanks to the newly built dams. The Korea Environment Institute announced this report on May 31 and held an advisory council.

Copyright The Kyunghyang Shinmun. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution without permission absolutely prohibited.

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