By: Petra Janša
In recent days, the events in the water protection area in Kleče, where the mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković, is completing the construction of the controversial sewer channel C0, are once again in focus.
As known, the controversial C0 canal project involves three municipalities, as they want to bring the sewage from Medvode and Vodice through the nature conservation area to the sewage treatment plant in Zalog. The sewage system cost more than 40 million euros, and an increasing number of experts warn that Ljubljana does not need this hazardous sewage system at all.
It was interesting to listen last week to the testimony of two experts before the parliamentary commission who assessed that the route of the C0 canal in Ljubljana is not suitable. According to biologist Andrej Uršič, the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) still believes that the C0 canal route increases the risk of endangering the supply of drinking water to Ljubljana. “Such a canal, like C0, belongs outside all water protection zones,” emphasised the biologist, adding that the unanswered question remains: what happens if, despite all the planned protective measures, there is damage to the canal that leads to contamination of the Kleče and Šentvid pumping stations.
How would Ljubljana supply drinking water if these water sources were excluded from supply? “Alternative supply for Ljubljana or any place must be ensured within 24 hours. We are talking about supplying more than 100,000 people, excluding industry and other consumers,” he emphasised. Hydrologists also believe that there are technologies and means to reroute this canal elsewhere, said Professor at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering in Ljubljana, Mihael Brenčič, on the mentioned commission. He pointed out that the hydrogeological profession disagrees with the course of the C0 canal in the connecting part, which they tried to warn about in 2016, but at that time, except for rare exceptions, they were not heard. Brenčič did not know how and in what way the routes were assessed since many documents are not publicly accessible. He also estimated that, according to professional logic and the potential impact, the C0 canal is a demanding object and, as such, requires a thorough assessment of its environmental impacts.
However, the mayor of Ljubljana is not at all interested in the opinions of the experts.