NO to HPPs on Vrbas!

The Vrbas is one of the last remaining rivers providing habitat to the critically endangered ‘tiger of rivers’ – the Huchen. The construction of further HPPs on the river would put this species even more at risk as well as endangering the water supply for residents of Banjaluka. Our Blue Heart partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Center for Environment – are fighting projects, which would destroy the Vrbas once and for all. Read their latest press release!


NO to hydro power plants on Vrbas!

The second act

Residents do not want the projected HPP on the Vrbas and fear for their drinking water © Center for Environment​Krupa na Vrbasu. December 1, 2017. After more than 10 years, the Center for Environment is once again fighting against the construction of a hydropower plant on the Vrbas River. United with the local community, we attended an ‘on the scene investigation’ of the technical conditions required for the construction of a new hydropower plant “Krupa”.

The HPP Krupa (14 MW) project would require the construction of a 18 to 20 meter-high dam and the relocation of the highway for 10 kilometers from the left to the right bank of Vrbas.

A large number of local residents pleaded that they don’t want a new HPP on Vrbas and that they will not give their land for the construction of this plant. They are aware that they don’t experience any benefits from HPP “Bočac 1” and “Bočac 2” (which is already being built). Therefore they won’t have any benefits from this plant either. They believe it does them more harm than good.

The projected HPP on Vrbas would put the critically endangered Huchen further at risk. © Center for Environment“We find that this project is really harmful for Banja Luka city, Republika Srpska, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The large change in elevation and the great ability of the Vrbas river to purify water, due to the Grebenska gorge, would be endangered. The quality of water would be reduced, and it would endanger the water supply of Banja Luka citizens. Further, it would lead to the extinction of Huchen, one of the most important and most endangered species in the area, and endemic to the Dunav basin.”, said Viktor Bjelić from the Centre for Environment to the press.

The Director of “Hydropower plants on Vrbas” stated that they will drop this project if local communities are against it.

Jelena Ivanić, Center for Environment: “Today we found out that after the construction of this hydropower plant the construction of the next HPP ‘Grbići would follow, downstream from Krupa on the Vrbas. This tells us that in a few years Vrbas would turn into a big lake. These hydropower plants will surely lower the water quality, destroy biodiversity and negatively impact on people’s lives. By stopping the Krupa hydropower plant, we will stop the potential construction of the next.”

The Coalition for the Protection of the Vrbas has gathered more than 17 000 citizen signatures in 2005. They specifically said ‘No.’ to building HPP on Vrbas, whereupon the Parliament of Banja Luka city gave a negative opinion about the former project. We believe that this time even more citizens and the Parliament of Banja Luka city should say NO to all new hydropower plants and YES to enforcement of energy efficiency in existing plants.