A boy washes himself with tap water in northern Hòa Bình Province’s Nà Bó Village. Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Nguyễn Minh Quang, yesterday called on everyone to save water to celebrate the World Water Day 2016. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Hà
HÀ NỘI — “Everyone has to save water,” said Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Nguyễn Minh Quang, yesterday at a meeting themed ‘Water and Jobs’ to celebrate World Water Day 2016, that took place in the northern province of Thanh Hóa.
Quang asked local authorities nationwide to provide more education to local people about the importance of water preservation given that Việt Nam is suffering the most severe drought for a century. Sustainable water management is believed to be a global common goal.
He also called upon ministries, all sectors and relevant agencies throughout the country to join hands to ensure water security towards sustainable development.
World Water Day, held every March 22, is an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and to take action to make a difference.
Today, almost half of the world’s workers - 1.5 billion people - are in water related sectors, and practically all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery. Yet the millions of people who work with water are often not recognised or protected by basic labour rights.
The theme in 2016 — Water and Jobs — is focusing on how the quantity and quality of water can change workers’ lives and livelihoods - and even transform societies and economies.
To mark World Water Day 2016, the ministry organised a range of activities including a conference to discuss the relation between water and jobs, and a photo exhibition in the province on the same theme on March 21-22.
Water resource management in Việt Nam faces challenges
Also on the occasion of World Water Day 2016, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment kicked off a project, “Strengthening management capacity of river basin environments,” in Ha Noi.
Water resource management in Việt Nam is encountering numerous challenges, from river basin water pollution to severe shortages of fresh water for daily life and production in the Central and Central Highland regions.
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Võ Tuấn Nhân, yesterday said that water pollution was wrecking the major river basins of Đồng Nai, Nhuệ-Đáy and Cầu, disrupting the daily lives of millions of people in the country.
According to the Ministry, water pollution in river basins is caused by wastewater discharged from multiple sources, including factories, households and trade villages. The project is expected to help Việt Nam mitigate water pollution in river basins.
The three-year project, supported by the Japan International Co-operation Agency, is scheduled to be implemented in the seven provinces and cities of Bắc Ninh, Bắc Giang, Thái Nguyên, Bình Dương, Đồng Nai, Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu and HCM City, said Nguyễn Hoàng Phương Lan, from the Institute of Environmental Science.
A representative of northern Bắc Giang Province’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment suggested that Japanese experts assist with equipment to help the province control wastewater released into Cầu River basin.
Training courses for environmental officers and staff were also required, the representative said.
While ministries and sectors are seeking long-term solutions to these problems, the public has raised the question of whether Việt Nam could make rain artificially to rescue the Central and Central Highland regions from the severe drought.
According to experts, artificial rain was identified as one solution to save people and crops from drought. Many countries including the United States, Russia, Japan and China have successfully created artificial rain.
In response to the question, Trần Hồng Thái, deputy director of the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting said that the idea had actually been raised many times since 1998, but that due to a lack of clear studies so far it has yet to be tried.
Thái said that to make artificial rain, more specific research on humidity, clouds and other weather conditions in the areas suffering drought were needed.
Vũ Thanh Ca, head of the International Co-operation Department under the Việt Nam Administration of Seas and Islands, and former head of the research team investigating the creation of artificial rain, said that the biggest problem now was that we lacked clouds or the materials needed for making artificial rain.
The severe drought has caused billions of đồng in losses over the two regions, and is forecast to ravage the regions until June.— VNS