The Korea Herald


Four rivers project blamed for water supply cut in Gumi

By 배지숙

Published : May 10, 2011 - 19:09

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A reservoir dike collapse cutting off water supply to more than half a million North Gyeongsang Province residents is thought to have been caused by works on the four-rivers project.

An alternative water supply had still not been provided to some areas in and around Gumi as of Tuesday afternoon.

The city’s mayor said that the dredging of the Nakdong River had increased erosion of the reservoir dike, causing it to collapse.
Citizens of Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, line up to receive ground water Monday. (Yonhap News) Citizens of Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, line up to receive ground water Monday. (Yonhap News)

According to the Gumi City Hall Monday, water supply to 562,000 residents in Gumi, Chilgok and Gimcheon was suspended from 9 a.m. Sunday. Water supply also ceased at Gumi industrial complex, stopping the operation of manufacturing lines.

On Monday, Korea Water Resources Corp. said it had resumed water supply to the Gumi area. But about 100,000 people said they still could not get water. Some factory operators said water supply was too low to keep machines running.

“I am sick and tired of gathering rain in a bucket. I am also fed up with buying bottled water from grocery stores and using an empty container as a temporary urinal. Moreover, many stores ran out of bottled water,” a Gumi resident wrote on an online bulletin board Tuesday morning. “It is more frustrating that we haven’t taken showers, cooked or done nothing but the government seems laid back.”

Gumi Mayor Nam Yoo-chin blamed the four-river refurbishment project for the water shortage.

“Since the Nakdong River basin was dug several meters for dredging, the river has become swifter and deeper than ever, increasing pressure on the dike of the adjacent temporary reservoir which supplies water to the water treatment plant. On Sunday, 20 meters of the 200 meter high dike was swept away by the faster and heavier stream,” he said in a press conference.

Accusing the water corporation of indiscriminate dredging, he said that it was not the first time the water supply to his city and nearby areas had been stopped. Since June 2008, the areas suffered from water stoppages four times. Three of them were related to the four-rivers project, he said.

Nam said that the corporation had done little to improve the situation.

“We are considering asking the prosecution to charge those responsible for the water cut,” he said.

“We have yet to find the exact cause of the collapse of reservoir dike, but we will make sure the repair will be sound and swift,” said Seo Yun-seok, Gumi branch manager of Korea Water Resources Corp.

Meanwhile, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration, up to 120 milliliters of rainfall is forecast by Wednesday, putting repair work on hold.

By Bae Ji-sook (

<한글 기사>

구미 단수 4일째..3만가구 "아직 물 안나와"

경북 구미광역취수장의 임시 물막이 붕괴에 따른 단수 사태가 4일째 이어지면서 구미나 칠곡 일부 주민은 여전히 불편을 겪고 있다.

한국수자원공사는 11일 오전 6시 현재 구미광역취수장에서 물을 공급하는 구미와 칠곡, 김천지역 17만 가구 가운데 3만6천가구를 뺀 나머지 가구에는 모두 정상적으로 수돗물을 공급하고 있다고 밝혔다.

수자원공사는 지난 10일 오후부터 밤샘 작업을 한 끝에 11일 새벽에 구미광역취수장의 터진 임시 물막이를 막았다.

이에 따라 이날 오전부터 즉시 취수장 가동을 정상화해 물 공급량을 정상치로 끌어올렸다.

그러나 정수한 물이 배수지를 거쳐 각 가정으로 가는데는 시간이 걸리기 때문에 선산읍과 봉곡동 등 구미와 칠곡 일부 지역 주민은 "여전히 물이 나오지 않는다"며 불편을 호소하고 있다.

구미시 허경선 상하수도사업소장은 "오늘 늦은 오후가 되면 일부 고지대를 제외한 대부분 지역에 물이 정상적으로 공급될 것으로 본다"고 말했다.