‘Roost site for migratory birds’, managers completed lowering the water level of Junam Reservoir in Changwon City, RoK

Read in Korean
By Hwanseok Choe, Idomin news
Translated by EAAFP Secretariat

In order to create a safe roost site for White-naped Crane and other wintering birds, managers lowered the water level of Junam Reservoir [EAAF095] in Changwon City, the Republic of Korea.

An official at the Gyeongsangnam-do regional headquater of the Korean Rural Community Corporation (KRC) said that on the 7th of January they lowered the water level from 3.67 m to 3.2 m.

Masan-Changwon-Jinhae Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (MCJ-KFEM) has been demanding Changwon City and KRC to lower the water level of Junam reservoir for a long time. This is important because if the water level is too high, White-naped Crane cannot find a safe roost site, which they need to successfully complete their migration. However, KRC remained cautious to the idea of discharging water, since it will make securing water for agriculture more difficult in case there is a spring drought. The lack of budget to purchase supplementary water after the discharge could be another problem.

This seemingly unresolvable problem started to get resolved as Mr Sangsu An, Changwon City Mayor promised to support the cost for the supplementary water on 18 December, 2015. Mayor An had a meeting with MCJ-KFEM and instructed the managers to allocate the cost in the 2016 budget. However, immediate opening of the water gates did not happen. Local people from a fishing village near the reservoir asked for some time to place nets to block fish from escaping. After the net was placed, water from Junam reservoir was released to Jucheon River. In order to prevent backflow, 6~7 floodgates were locked.

MCJ-KFEM official welcomed the adjustment of the water level, but assured that cooperation of authorities is needed so this problem won’t emerge again. The official said “since Junam reservoir is a target area for Biodiversity Management Contract, if the Ministry of Environment comes up with some budget to pay for the adjustment of water level within this contract, the pressure on other organisations would decrease”.

To read the original article (in Korean), please click here.
To watch a relevant video (in Korean), please click here. (after lowering water level of Junam reservoir, White-naped Cranes have returned)

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