The preparatory works for the refurbishment of the barrier on the River Sutla have finally started. Once the dam is built, a new lake, the Vonar Lake, will emerge on the border between Croatia and Slovenia, reports Poslovni.hr on February 20, 2019.
This area already had a lake in the 1980s, but the project ultimately failed because of the lack of sewage treatment facilities. However, this time no such problems are expected. The access to the Vonar Lake will be possible from four municipalities, from Podčetrtek and Rogaška Slatina on the Slovenian side, and from Hum na Sutli and Zagorska Sela on the Croatian side. The lake will expand to a maximum of 100 hectares or one square kilometre, which is one third smaller than the famous Bled Lake in Slovenia, whose surface area is 1.45 square kilometres.
“With the Vonar Lake project, we will be protected from the flooding of the Sutla River, which will enable us to develop additional tourist facilities. Once the lake is filled, Podčetrtek and Rogaška Slatina will be able to record up to a million overnight stays, which will enable a better life for people on both sides of the border,” says Mayor of Podčetrtek Peter Misja. In the municipality of Podčetrtek, tourists annually realise about 370,000 overnights, and in Rogaška Slatina about 250,000.
Before the emergence of the new lake, which is expected to occur in 2020 or 2021, a lot of work will have to be done, and renovation of the dam is just the first step. The barrier which is being restored is 40 years old. In the 1980s, the area next to the Sutla river already had a lake, which was considerably larger, covering as much as 190 hectares. But the water was of poor quality, so the stench spread in the area and the lake was emptied in 1988. Now there are sewage treatment devices available, such as the one which already exists in Hum on Sutli.
The renovation of the 12-metre high barrier is being managed by the Slovenian Waters Directorate and the Croatian Waters public company, as part of the European FRISCO 2.1 project, which will reduce the risk of flooding from the Sutla River on both sides of the river. At the Slovenian tender, the Nivo Eko company was selected as the contractor, and Croatia will soon choose its own contractor.
Last week, Nivo Eko started preparatory works. The total value of the barrier renovation is 1.67 million euro, of which 85% is provided by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund, within the European Regional Cooperation INTERREG VA initiative.
Translated from Poslovni.hr.
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