[enviro-vlc] Water availability becomes an issue during dry-season
vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Fri Oct 31 23:45:51 EST 2008
Water availability becomes an issue during dry-season
11:54' 30/10/2008 (GMT+7)
VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam is facing many challenges in managing water
resources, said Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, chairman of the National
Council on Water Resources, at a workshop on October 29.
In the dry season, the Red River basin is classified as 'moderately stressed'
according to international standards for water-exploitation stress.
The workshop was part of a project to evaluate Vietnam’s water sector, with the
overall goal of helping the country achieve sustainable development of its water
“Vietnam’s water resources are confronted by many potential threats. However,
this issue is not fully in the public consciousness so there needs to be timely
action taken,” said Hai.
According to Hai, challenges in managing water resources come in many forms:
limitations and inefficient use of economic tools for sustainable use of water
resources, insufficient irrigation supply and a dilapidated infrastructure.
Vietnam is heavily dependant on international rivers. Only 40 percent of surface
water is generated inside the country and six of the major river basins depend
on water from other countries. In addition, nearly 57 percent of Vietnam’s total
water discharge occurs in the Mekong river basin, over 16 percent in the
Red-Thai Binh river basin and 4 percent in the Dong Nai basin-all international
rivers, according to the council’s report.
Water availability, particularly in the dry season, is starting to be a major
issue. The international standard for “water exploitation stress” is that
moderate stress on a river begin when 20 percent of the water is extracted and
high water stress occurs for values above 40 percent. For the dry season, four
of the major 16 basins are currently classified as highly stressed (the Ma, the
Huong, the Dong Nai and coastal rivers in southern Central Vietnam) and a
further six are classified as moderately stressed by international standards,
including the Red Rive. Up to 80 percent of the Ma River’s dry season flow is
currently being extracted, said the report.
At the workshop, a number of related issues were discussed including the
protection of vulnerable communities, sustainability in water resource
development, environmental health and enhancing institutional capacity and
participation of related parties to achieve the integrated management of water
resources in Vietnam.
The report will be a reference for the Government and donor community in
developing a water resource management investment and support strategy for
Vietnam’s ministries and agencies over the next 10 years.
More information about the enviro-vlc