Sava flood barrier – story about insolent people and powerless system
The Sava embankment was built to defend from flooding more than 100 thousand people who live in the Sava blocks: 44, 45, 70, 70a, 72, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65. These blocks are next to the Sava embankment, less than 2km from it. The Sava embankment along the blocks is 3km long. Upstream of blocks towards Obrenovac, the embankment is 8km long, and this area is not settled, at least not according to the law, as it hosts water supply and drainage systems. Ranney and tubular collectors in this area collect the underground water from the gravel-sand aquifer and supply Belgrade (1.7million citizen) region with a high-quality drinking water. Also, in order to provide reliable water supply to Belgrade, and to the entire region all the way to Mladenovac (the pipeline is in construction), water is being pumped from Sava to the first basin of the Sava lake, and it is further conducted to the water purification plants Makiš 1 and Makiš 2. For this reason, it is very important to maintain strict sanitary protection of the gravel-sand aquifer as such environment can be permanently polluted and degraded as the water supply, as well as of the Sava flow that is close to the water pumped into the Sava lake. Such system was planned in the times when experts were respected, and engineers were asked for their opinions.
When “the so-called transition“ of Serbia seriously destabilized the country, some people entered the state of apathy, while the others lost any sense of right and wrong. In such an environment, hundreds of houses have been illegaly built in the waterland area from the blocks to the Ostružnica bridge. Several houses were built in the waterland area before 2002, mainly in the municipality of Surčin; then, hundreds of houses were built from February 2008 until July 2009. These houses have been built in the riverbed of a big international river Sava, between the main riverbed and flood barrier, i.e. in the inundation (floodplain) that is treated as the waterland according to the regulations (Law on Waters, Spatial Plan for the Republic of Serbia). Construction of solid buildings on the waterland, which comprises the inundation area and the 50m wide belt from the flood barrier towards the defended region, is strictly forbidden as it obstructs the protection from floods and increases the chance of floods. In this particular region, more than 100 thousand people are imperiled by floods. At the same time, these houses are in the close proximity to 16 out of 99 Belgrade water collectors that purify the water for Belgrade and its surrounding. Also, numerous cars, and trucks illegally use the road on the flood barrier that was built only for the vehicles of companies that maintain the barrier and water collectors. Such use of the flood barrier is not allowed anywhere in the world as its geotechnical construction is getting slowly demolished in this way, and, it is strictly forbidden by the article 133 of the Serbian Law of Water.
Research team of Balkanmagazin