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Water Supply Project in Lake Kasumigaura, Ibaraki, Japan


Description:

The Naka River, Lake Kasumigaura and the Tone River have played an important role in the stable and regional supply of water resources,  and have contributed to the industrial and economic development of the basin [1].  However, due to industrial development and urbanization, water blooms have been produced in Lake Kasumigaura since the early 1970s [2].  Various problems such as the occurrence of drought also occur in the Naka River and the Tone River, and efforts are being made to purify the water and secure stable water resources throughout the basin [1].

The Lake Kasumigaura Water Supply Project started in April 1984 [3] as a solution to these problems by constructing a water network in the Kanto region and effectively utilizing limited water resources [4].  The purpose of the project is threefold: (i) Dilute with clean water and improve the flow to clean Lake Kasumigaura and the Sakura River (Mito City); (ii) Reduce the damage caused by droughts in the Tone River and the Naka River, and preserve the river environment.; (iii) Develop new tap water and industrial water at Lake Kasumigaura and the Naka River [5].

The total amount of the project was estimated to be 190 billion yen (Approx. USD 800 million at the exchange rate for the dollar in 1984) [6][7]. The Kasumigaura Water Supply Project consists of the Naka Water Supply Channel connecting the lower reaches of the Naka River and Lake Kasumigaura (from Mito City Watari Chisaki to Tsuchiura Kohoku Town Chisaki, approx. 43 km), and the Tone Water Supply Channel connecting the lower reaches of the Tone River and Lake Kasumigaura (from Inashiki City Kessa Chisaki to Inasaki City Kamisuda Chisaki, approx. 2.6km) and develops two headraces [1].

The headraces are located in the ground 20 to 50m deep [1].  While the Naka Channel conducts bi-directional transport water from the Naka River to Lake Kasumigaura, from Lake Kasumigaura to the Naka River, the Tone Channel conducts from the Tone River from Lake Kasumigaura, and from Lake Kasumigaura to the Tone River [1].  The following is the details.

Mito Tunnel: It is an underground tunnel from the Naka Pumping Station in Mito City Watari. Town Chisaki to Mito City Kawawada Town Chisaki. Water flows up to 15 m3/s from the Naka River towards Lake Kasumigaura and up to 11 m3 / s from Lake Kasumigaura toward the Naka River. [1]

Ishioka Tunnel: This is an underground tunnel connecting the 24.7 km from the Mito Water Shaft in Mito City Kawada Town Chisaki to the Takahama Pumping Station in Ishioka City. Mimura Kantaku Chisaki, of the Naka Channel. Water flows up to 15 m3/s from the Naka River towards Lake Kasumigaura and up to 11 m3/s from Lake Kasumigaura toward the Naka River. [1]

Tone Pumping Station: Three pumps are provided to transport water from the Tone River to Lake Kasumigaura and from Lake Kasumigaura to the Tone River up to 25 m3/s. [1]

The plan has been changed four times so far [7], and by March 2018, about 154.5 billion yen (Approx. USD 1.4 billion at the exchange rate for the dollar on 29 March 2018) [8] was spent on project costs [1].

In March 1994, the 2.6km-long water supply channel in the Tone River [1] was completed [7].  However, when the water of Lake Kasumigaura was sent to the Tone River in the trial runoff in September 1995, the mass death of clam occurred in the Tone river [3].

Due to such circumstances, in March 2009, the Naka River Water System Five Fishery Cooperatives became the plaintiffs and filed a water court case in the Mito District Court against the country [4].  The reason was that the water transfer project destroys the biological communities unique access to each water system by exchanging specific species of different water systems with the movement of water [7].  In October 2009, the Democratic Party underwent a review of this project and it was frozen [3]. However, in March of the following year, the water intake construction (land section) was completed, and in August 2014, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism decided on project continuity in the review of the dam project [3].  As a result, it affects the life, industry, and culture that are built on the basis of each biological community and ecosystem and destroys them [7].  Although the fishermen's side submitted to the Mito District Court about 13,000 signatures in March 2015 asking for an injunction, the district court's decision rejected the petitioner's request [3]. Therefore, the fishing co-op appealed within the month[3].  While in January 2016, the Tokyo High Court held the first appeal of the appellate hearing, around March of the same year, the Ministry  extended the project period to 2023 [3].  The high court began to ask the fishermen for a settlement under the water from around July of the following year, and after half a year the high court issued a settlement recommendation by oral argument, and the settlement talks began [3].  The high court presented a settlement proposal in March of the same year, asking both the government and fishermen for an answer until April 25 [3].  As a result, the settlement was reached on April 27 [3]. In the settlement proposal, it was stated that the purpose of the project was to consider the impact on the fishery in conducting the business and to respect the opinion of each fishermen's cooperative [3]. Furthermore, they asked for a place to exchange views with the fishermen's side until the facilities were put into full operation in order to prevent adverse effects on eight types of fishery resources such as sweetfish, salmon, and clams [3]. In addition, they asked that the government carry out a project by limiting water intake until the full operation, conducted a small amount of test water supply to the country, and regularly conducted monitoring surveys such as water quality [3].

As of the end of November 2018, three of the planned pumping stations have been completed, and 11 of the 12 planned waterway shafts have been completed, and approx. 14.2km out of about 43km the Naka Water Supply Channel of the waterway has been completed, and full of the Tone Water Supply Channel has been complete [9].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Water Supply Project in Lake Kasumigaura, Ibaraki, Japan
Country:Japan
State or province:Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba
Location of conflict:Namegata, Kasumigaura, Miho, Inashiki, Tsuchiura, Ami
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict: 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Aquaculture and fisheries
Water access rights and entitlements
Interbasin water transfers/transboundary water conflicts
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Invasive species
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Fish
Water
Ecosystem Services

Project Details and Actors

Project details:

Lake Kasumigaura belongs to the Tone River water system that flows through the Kanto Plain, and is a marine trace lake that enters the low-lying area in the southeastern part of Ibaraki Prefecture, on the left bank side of the lower part of the Tone River. The lake area is about 22 km2, and it is the second largest lake in Japan. In addition, the water storage amount is about 850 million m3, the water depth is an average of about 4 m (maximum 7 m), and the residence time is about 200 days. [10]

The water quality of Lake Kasumigaura is COD 7.2 mg / l (average value in 2018), which greatly exceeds the environmental standard COD 3.0 mg / l. [1]

The Kasumigaura Water Supply Project consists of the Naka Water Supply Channel connecting the lower reaches of the Naka River and Lake Kasumigaura (from Mito City Watari Chisaki to Tsuchiura Kohoku Town Chisaki, approx.. 43 km), and the Tone Water Supply Channel connecting the lower reaches of the Tone River and Lake Kasumigaura (from Inashiki City Kessa Chisaki to Inasaki City Kamisuda Chisaki, approx.. 2.6km) and develops two headraces. [1]

(See Source of Conflicts for more details on the project).

T

Project area:21,990
Level of Investment:1,400,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:12,140,000
Start of the conflict:03/2009
End of the conflict:27/04/2017
Relevant government actors:-Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Kanto
-Regional Development Bureau, Lake Kasumigaura water supply construction office
-National Institute for Environmental Studies, National Research and Development Corporation
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-Yamba tomorrow meeting (https://yamba-net.org)
-Japan River Keeper Alliance (http://suigenren.jp)
-Water Source Net (http://www.dam-net.jp)

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local government/political parties
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Oil spills, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights

Outcome

Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Negotiated alternative solution
Under negotiation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Although the plaintiffs' fishery side lost their case, it seems that the plan has been reconsidered by incorporating their opinions. However, it is unpredictable what kind of environmental and economic impact will occur.

Sources and Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Kuroda H. et al., The Sate of Water Quality and Watershed Management Plans in Lake Kasumigaura, Agricultural and Rural Development in Kasumigaura and Tone River Lower Basin-1 (accessed on 13-04-2019)
https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jjsidre/77/6/77_447/_pdf/-char/ja

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[6] Change of exchange rate of US dollar / yen (accessed on 14-04-2019)
https://ecodb.net/exchange/usd_jpy.html

[7] Japan River Keeper Alliance (accessed 14-04-2019)
http://suigenren.jp/damlist/dammap/kasumigaura-waterchannel/

[2] National Institute for Environmental Studies, National Research and Development Corporation, "Is the water quality of Lake Kasumigaura improved?" (accessed on 14-04-2019)
https://www.nies.go.jp/escience/kosho/lib/kasumigaura02.html

[3] Kasumigaura water supply lawsuit (accessed on 14-04-2019)
http://suigenren.jp/news/category/daminformation/kasumigaura-waterchannel/

[4] Yamba tomorrow meeting (accessed on 14-04-2019)
https://yamba-net.org/11801/

[5] Approach of Kasumigaura River Office (accessed on 14-04-2019)
http://www.ktr.mlit.go.jp/kasumi/kasumi00098.html

[9] Water Source Net (accessed on 14-04-2019)
http://www.dam-net.jp/dam_content/topix/06_kojishudam_list/k010_201811.html

[10] Characteristics of basins and lakes (accessed on 15-04-2019)
http://www.env.go.jp/earth/coop/coop/document/mle2_j/003.pdf

Lake area (accessed on 13-04-2019)
www.gsi.go.jp/KOKUJYOHO/MENCHO/201810/f1_kosho.pdf

Japan Water Agency (accessed on 15-04-2019)
http://www.water.go.jp/honsya/honsya/index.html

[8] Yahoo Finance (accessed on 15-04-2019)
https://info.finance.yahoo.co.jp/history/?code=USDJPY%3DX&sy=2018&sm=3&sd=1&ey=2019&em=3&ed=31&tm=d

[1] Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, Kanto Regional Development Bureau, Lake Kasumigaura water supply construction office (accessed on 14-04-2019)
http://www.ktr.mlit.go.jp

Other documents

The Sakura Pumping Station Water conducted from the Naka River with a pump installed in the basement is discharged to the Sakura River. It was built along the Sakura River in Kawada Town, Mito City, and in March 2001 all facility maintenance was completed, including the construction of a space building and the installation of pumps.
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/桜機場.jpg

The Tone Pumping Station Equipped with three pumps, the water transfer from the Tone River to Lake Kasumigaura and from Kasumigaura to Tonegawa will be up to 25 m3 / sec.
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/利根機場.jpg

Meeting after the settlment A meeting fishery cooperative union heads and lawyers after the settlement in Tokyo.
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/和解成立後会見.png

Water bloom Water bloom on the lake surface
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/アオコ.jpg

The Tone Water Channel The Tone Water Channel takes water from the Tone River and release it to the Tone River.
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/利根樋管.jpg

The Kasumigaura Water Channel The Kasumigaura Water Channel takes water from Lake Kasumigaura and release it to Lake Kasumigaura.
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/霞ヶ浦樋管.jpg

The Mito Tunnel It is an underground tunnel from Naka Pumping Station in Mito City Watari Chisaki to Mito CIty Kawawada Town Chisaki in the Naka Water Supply Channel. Water flows up to 15 m3 / s from the Naka River towards Lake Kasumigaura and up to 11 m3 / s from Lake Kasumigaura toward the Naka River.
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/水戸トンネル.jpg

The Naka Pumping Stataion Water from the Naka River is delivered to the Sakura River and Lake Kasumigaura, and water from Lake Kasumigaura is released to the Naka River through the Naka Water Channel. In 2004, along the Naka River in Mito City Watari Town, the construction of the pumping station, the construction of the sedimentation basin and the installation of the water delivery pump were completed.
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/利根機場.jpg

The Tone Water Supply Channel The Tone Water Supply Channel (approx. 2.6km in length) connects the Tone River and Lake Kasumigaura, and is established in the ground about 20-30m in depth. It is a joint facility with the Kasumigaura Development Project conducted by the Water Resources Development Corporation (now Japan Water Agency).
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/利根導水路.jpg

The Ishioka Tunnel It is an underground tunnel connecting 24.7 km from the Mito shaft in Mito City Kawada Town Chisaki to the Takahama Pumping Station in Ishioka City Mimura Kantaku Chisaki, of the Naka Water Supply Channel. Water flows up to 15 m3 / s from the Naka River towards Lake Kasumigaura and up to 11 m3 / s from Lake Kasumigaura toward the Naka River. Currently, the tunnel is being divided into six sections, and Takahama Airport-Yuri Shaft (Section 6) and Kamiinuma Shaft-Ibaraki Shaft (section 2) have been completed.
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/石岡トンネル.jpg

Meta information

Contributor:EnvJustice, ICTA-UAB/Natsuka Kuroda, [email protected]
Last update29/04/2019

Images

 

The Sakura Pumping Station

Water conducted from the Naka River with a pump installed in the basement is discharged to the Sakura River. It was built along the Sakura River in Kawada Town, Mito City, and in March 2001 all facility maintenance was completed, including the construction of a space building and the installation of pumps.

Water bloom

Water bloom on the lake surface

The Tone Water Supply Channel

The Tone Water Supply Channel (approx. 2.6km in length) connects the Tone River and Lake Kasumigaura, and is established in the ground about 20-30m in depth. It is a joint facility with the Kasumigaura Development Project conducted by the Water Resources Development Corporation (now Japan Water Agency).

The Tone Water Channel

The Tone Water Channel takes water from the Tone River and release it to the Tone River.

The Kasumigaura Water Channel

The Kasumigaura Water Channel takes water from Lake Kasumigaura and release it to Lake Kasumigaura.

The Mito Tunnel

It is an underground tunnel from Naka Pumping Station in Mito City Watari Chisaki to Mito CIty Kawawada Town Chisaki in the Naka Water Supply Channel. Water flows up to 15 m3 / s from the Naka River towards Lake Kasumigaura and up to 11 m3 / s from Lake Kasumigaura toward the Naka River.

The Ishioka Tunnel

It is an underground tunnel connecting 24.7 km from the Mito shaft in Mito City Kawada Town Chisaki to the Takahama Pumping Station in Ishioka City Mimura Kantaku Chisaki, of the Naka Water Supply Channel. Water flows up to 15 m3 / s from the Naka River towards Lake Kasumigaura and up to 11 m3 / s from Lake Kasumigaura toward the Naka River. Currently, the tunnel is being divided into six sections, and Takahama Airport-Yuri Shaft (Section 6) and Kamiinuma Shaft-Ibaraki Shaft (section 2) have been completed.

Meeting after the settlement

A meeting fishery cooperative union heads and lawyers after the settlement in Tokyo.

The Naka Pumping Stataion

Water from the Naka River is delivered to the Sakura River and Lake Kasumigaura, and water from Lake Kasumigaura is released to the Naka River through the Naka Water Channel. In 2004, along the Naka River in Mito City Watari Town, the construction of the pumping station, the construction of the sedimentation basin and the installation of the water delivery pump were completed.