Vietnam works toward safe, clean, resilient water system

(VOVWORLD) - Vietnam is one of the countries most affected by climate change which will challenge water security and sustainable development. The government has renewed effort to protect water as a special resource.
Vietnam works toward safe, clean, resilient water system - ảnh 1 (Illustrative photo)

 Vietnam has about 3,450 rivers and springs of over 10km in length. The average annual precipitation is nearly 2,000 mm. The country is located in the downstream of cross-border rivers and often suffers from water-related disasters. Due to the uneven distribution or overuse of water resources, some areas have to deal with a water shortage. Water pollution has been identified as a significant threat that could cost Vietnam up to 3.5 per cent of its GDP annually by 2035, an independent study by the World Bank has warned.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said it’s time to change the common mindset in water management and exploitation and consider water a special natural resource: “We should drastically change our mindset. Water, like other resources, has a life cycle. We have to manage water circulation to protect and control it. It’s necessary to build a database on water reserves in order to manage, develop, and protect water resources and appropriately handle droughts in affected areas.”

According to data from the Ministry of Construction, only 46 per cent of urban households have connections to the drainage system and just 12.5 per cent of domestic wastewater is being treated, not to mention the untreated wastewater from industrial facilities outside industrial zones. This compromises water quality and local ecosystems.

A national water survey through 2030 with a vision to 2050 approved by the Prime Minister has set to make a comprehensive study of surface and underground water and deliver reports on water usage every 5 years. The government has directed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to work with other ministries and localities to explore underground water resources on islands and areas of water scarcity. Discharge of untreated water into the environment will be strictly punished. Communications to improve community awareness and responsibility in protecting water resources will be bolstered. A safe, clean, and lasting system of water management will help Vietnam to achieve its goals of sustainable development in the future.