Zavojsko Lake - The Blue Mountain Dragon

Zavojsko Lake - The Blue Mountain Dragon

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Zavojsko Lake is an artificial lake in south-east Serbia, on the Visocica River.

It was created in 1963 after a major landslide which dammed the river and the natural dam was later replaced with a hydroelectric dam “Zavoj”. Lake is located 16 km (9.9 mi) north of the town of Pirot.

On February 25, 1963 a huge landslide from the sunny side of the Stara Planina rushed into the valley of the Visocica River and dammed a river creating a natural earth dam which was 500 meters (1,600 ft) long and 50 meters (160 ft) high.

Reservoir was created behind the dam, flooding the village of Zavoj. This original natural lake was dried, the natural dam was consolidated and the artificial lake was recreated, this time as a reservoir for the hydroelectric power plant “Zavoj”. The village of Novi Zavoj was built on the higher ground instead of the flooded old village of Zavoj.

Immediately after the dam was finished, Serbian government began a project of conducting waters from Temštica’s upper course (Toplodolska reka) into the lake.

Project was continued in the early 2000s but the local population in the watershed of Temštica protested claiming that over 80% of the water was already taken out of their river and that further catchment of the water from it woul result in an ecological catastrophe, especially in the canyon of Temštica popularly called “Little Colorado”. As a result of this, municipality of Pirot officially opposed the government’s decision in 2004 and 2006, but the government insisted on continuing the project. In protest, population of the village of Temska boycotted the Serbian parliamentary elections in January 2007.

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