‘The tragedy of the people living in the affected by the flood areas is a result of the timelessness and carelessness in ‘Irrigation systems’ during the past year. The lack of any prevention is the main reason for what is happening now. Nowadays there is no operational coordination between the Department of Weather Forecasts, Basin directorate and Irrigation systems. Everything is done after an issue happens and nobody is working in a way to decrease the damages of the harmful waters impact’, Snezhina Dineva, former director of Irrigation systems has written in her personal Facebook account.
Here is her statement regarding the water disaster that has affected a number of living areas in Bulgaria (we publish her words without editorial):
‘During our governance Irrigation systems was always a connecting unit among all institutions, dealing with these situations because our experts were always on the field and we were always watching all point breaks. We were performing planned dike cutting in order to guide water masses far away from living areas – every time we had to in order to save people’s lives and health and to decrease the harm on buildings and infrastructure. That way we saved dozens of cities, towns and villages during the time of our governance.
However during the past year the ignorance of the management regarding such a type of crisis situation by the people appointed by the "Change" led to the loss of control and the ability of preventing tragedies like the current one. The truth is that the amounts of rain that have fallen are truly enormous. The truth is that most probably the river had no way but to overflow because it is sized for only 240 cubic meters, and the tidal wave had a volume of over 400 cubic meters.
It is also true that if the expert staff of Irrigation Systems were in place, the damage would be many times less and most likely only on agricultural lands. For a year, there has been no work on the most important activity, which is attributed to the company for the protection of the harmful effects of water. As a result, drainage channels have remained with very low conductivity, river beds are overgrown, which reduces the possibility of smooth passage of water masses.
Our team knows all problem areas in Bulgaria and specifically in the region affected by the flood, which is one of the most threatened by this type of disaster in the country. We know that there is no facility to retenze this type of tidal waves, and the catchment area of the Stryama River is huge. That is why we took actions to fundamentally solve the problems of the entire region. We have drawn up a comprehensive project for the prevention of the harmful effects of water, in which we have included the construction of the Padesh Dam (essentially necessary, both to contain the water masses from such tidal waves and to provide drinking water to the area, which is still suffering from water scarcity in the summer months), complete rehabilitation of the main drainage canals, as well as the dikes - where they are weakened.
The funds missing since the 1960s had been provided through the Irrigation Systems project at NPVU, which was easily removed by the "Change" government to be replaced by the battery project! Unfortunately, today we are witnessing the result of the carelessness and incompetence of these amateurs!
Politics is not made with props, but with expertise. Here are some additional facts.
Floods are formed by excessive surface water runoff. It occurs during intense rainfall (a lot of rain in a short time) or during very long, although not intense, rainfall.
The formation of surface runoff is influenced by all factors - temperature, soil, vegetation, relief. Having the greatest weight – over 78% is the slope of the terrain. This means that once surface runoff has formed, its spread does not depend on the terrain cover, but on the slope. When there is accumulated mobile biomass (branches, leaves, garbage) in the watersheds (gullies), the high surface runoff with high kinetic energy carries it away.
This helps to plug narrower places, collect water and form tidal waves after the barriers are broken. Forest plantations have the ability to soften the initial formation of surface runoff, but not to prevent it in large volumes of water. On the contrary, they can provide an improvement in soil and air moisture during prolonged droughts, thanks to the pumping of water from deeper soil layers, but this is for a short time!