By: Lea Kalc Furlanič
The improper selection of the route across the sole aquifer of Ljubljana, through a flood-prone area, the use of an inappropriate pipe technology, unprofessional installation, and the burial of the canal… The pipes are already leaking, and this can be proven. Furthermore, the canal route runs through an earthquake-prone area, and due to the unprofessional construction and excessive diameter, the pipes are susceptible to gas explosions that accumulate within them.
The recent floods have proven that the pipes are not properly installed, as they were washed out to the surface in the Sneberje area. If Canal C0 becomes operational, it will lead to the contamination of drinking water for 340,000 users of the Ljubljana water supply system, as the canal runs over a protected area with groundwater, the sole source of drinking water for Ljubljana, and there is no alternative source to draw the required amount of water for Ljubljana.
These are the technical errors of the 12.4-kilometer-long canal with a sewage pipe that will transport wastewater from the municipalities of Medvode and Vodice to the sewage treatment plant in Brod, Ljubljana. This decision alone is misguided and is the source of all the problems, but who knows why the mayors agreed to it. The project was halted under the previous government because the City of Ljubljana, as the project sponsor, did not have all the necessary permits. For example, Mayor Janković divided the building permit into seven parts just to avoid the requirement of environmental consent for the area above the aquifer. In the project, they manipulated words about interventions, types, and purposes of construction so skilfully that even the devil would believe them. It is difficult to comprehend what our institutions, from administrative units to ministries and even the government, are capable of just to protect or “support” Ljubljana’s “boss”. Even the Maribor Faculty of Law, which, at the request of the Ministry of the Environment, prepared a legal opinion on all building permits and other procedures of the project, fakes ignorance, as the opinion did not consider the Water Act or water consent for the aquifer area. These are the fundamental documents on which the construction of Canal C0 immediately collapses. Now we are all waiting to see what will happen. If indeed environmental consent is not needed, Janković will, in his usual manner, build the canal, obtain the occupancy permit, and release sewage into it, even though it is already leaking. Ljubljana residents, Slovenians will you really allow this? Will you truly allow your children, the elderly, the sick… to be poisoned by contaminated drinking water?