Lack of water threatens localities in Vietnam

28.04.2017

More than 60 percent of water to Vietnam comes from other countries. Scientists have warned that 45 percent of land area in the southern region will suffer serious saline intrusion in the future.

Nguyen Mai, chair of VAFIEs at the workshop on water resource security, on April 19 in Hanoi, warned that Vietnam is facing big challenges in the context of climate change.

Approximately 63 percent of total flows into Vietnam originate from China, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. Of the 208 rivers in Vietnam, 126 are sourced from other countries. Ninety percent of the Mekong River flow and more than 50 percent of the Red River are from overseas.

Tran Dinh Hoa, deputy director of the Vietnam Institute of Water Resources, said that due to the reliance on flows from overseas, Vietnam cannot control the output of large rivers, the volume of sediment and the current regime.

Approximately 63 percent of total flows into Vietnam originate from China, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. Of the 208 rivers in Vietnam, 126 are sourced from other countries. Ninety percent of the Mekong River flow and more than 50 percent of the Red River are from overseas.

With the current population, each Vietnamese receives only 3,370 cubic meters per annum from endogenous water sources.

However, the majority of Vietnamese think water is endless and continue using it freely.

“The water shortage in Vietnam is not just a forecast risk, but is present in many localities of the country,” Hoa said.

Vietnam is one of five countries to suffer most from climate change. As a result, many of the problems considered as potential threats may become real more quickly.

In the northern mountainous region, the impact of climate change on this region is heavy with prolonged droughts and heavy rains, resulting in severe flash floods.

The southern part of the central region has the lowest rainfall in Vietnam, with frequent droughts. This area is also affected by rising sea levels, which leads to saline intrusion and coastal erosion.

Meanwhile, the south is vulnerable to flooding and saline intrusion. The rising sea level  as predicted by 2030 will have about 45 percent of land area prone to saline intrusion, making the rice yield decrease by about 9 percent.

Jorrg Ruger from German Embassay in Vietnam said at a workshop that German enterprises are willing to bring advanced waste water treatment technologies to Vietnam to help ensure water security in Vietnam.

Nguyen Dac Hoan, DEVIWAS project manager, said Hanoians would be able to use clean water treated with German technology by 2020. The project would help Hanoi treat waste water, provide equipment to the hospitals in Hanoi, and clean rivers in the inner city.


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