Bulgarian Officials Provide False Data for Draying Up Dam

Atanas Tchobanov

In an interview with bTV on December 11, the Mayor of the western Bulgarian city of Pernik, Stanislav Vladimirov, said that the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW) had informed him a day earlier that there are just over 4.3 million cubic meters of water in the “Studena” dam. He also said he had not received an answer when the dam would reach its dead storage.

It is public knowledge that the dead storage of the dam is 2.4 million cubic meters. According to the MRDPW, there are currently 1.9 million cubic meters of usable drinking water in “Studena”.

However, the analysis of satellite images from December 10 shows that the available volumes announced by the MRDPW are highly optimistic. According to simple calculations, there is currently less than 1 million cubic meters of usable drinking water in “Studena”.

SAR data from a satellite image from Sentinel 1 from December 10, 2019, shows that the total area of the water in the dam is approximately 255,827 square meters.

According to Bivol data, on December 11, the measured height of the “Studena” dam was 816.7 meters and the technical documentation of the dam shows that the dead storage elevation (unusable) is 813 meters or usable depth of 3.7 meters.

In order to obtain the usable volume, we must multiply the depth by the area (the one actually seen from space):
25,827 x 3.7 = 946,559.9 cubic meters i.e. 0.9 million cubic meters, not 1.9 million, as the MRDPW claims.
Currently, around 350 liters per second or 30,000 cubic meters of water are pumped daily, and 946,560 cubic meters are available. The math is once again simple.

Even with the strict water usage regime introduced in Pernik and the surrounding villages on December 10, there is a real risk that the dead storage of the “Studena” dam will be reached in about a month.

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