Solutions to protect Hà Nội's water sources

February 22, 2023 - 10:00
Hà Nội has 104 irrigation lakes, 105 rivers and canals with total length of more than 799km, according to the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DoNRE).
Workers dredge a river in Hà Nội to clear its flow. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Khánh

HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội authorities at different levels have strived to find solutions to protect clean water sources for the capital city’s sustainable socio-economic development.

Hà Nội has 104 irrigation lakes, 105 rivers and canals with total length of more than 799km, according to the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DoNRE).

However, water sources are in danger of depletion and pollution

In recent years during the dry season, water levels on the Hồng (Red) River are continuously lowering affecting supplies for agricultural production and daily life.

Hà Nội has more than 8,000 hectares of agricultural land that depends on additional water from hydropower reservoirs.

Some areas in Quốc Oai, Phúc Thọ and Mê Linh districts often lack water.

Nhuệ, Tô Lịch, Lừ, Sét and Kim Ngưu rivers are degraded, depleted and seriously polluted.

Permanent deputy director of the Hà Nội DoNRE, Mai Trọng Thái, said there were many reasons why this happens such as climate change, change of river flow and forest degradation reducing the ability to hold water.

Organisations’ and individuals’ awareness to protect water resources was also poor.

"Most people think that water is an inexhaustible resource, a misconception that makes the risk of water depletion serious," he said.

Deputy chairman of the Quốc Oai District People's Committee Phạm Quang Tuấn, said an increase in population made the demand for water higher, while water pollution problems were still prevalent.

To ensure water security, a good starting point was to raise community awareness in exploitation and use of water resources, said Tuấn.


Hà Nội assigned departments and districts to develop programmes to protect water sources towards 2030, with vision to 2045.

The capital city has set a target that by 2025, all of households in urban areas and 85-90 per cent of households in rural areas will have access to standard clean water.

By 2030, the city will balance water sources to serve the people's living and socio-economic development, and at the same time overcome degradation and pollution in the Tô Lịch, Lừ, Sét, Kim Ngưu, Nhuệ, Cầu Bây and Đáy rivers.

By 2045, Hà Nội will take the initiative in water sources for socio-economic development and complete the policy system related to water.

Hà Nội assigned departments to define areas where underground water exploitation is restricted, conduct basic surveys of water resources, and promulgate a list of ponds and lakes that cannot be levelled in the city.

Deputy director of the Hà Nội Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyễn Mạnh Phương, said that the department would reorganise agricultural production to ensure that it would be suitable to each region’s water resources condition.

The department would propose solutions to build water storage works to limit flooding on the Tích and Bùi rivers in the rainy season, supplement water for production and daily life.

In the future, Hà Nội will put strict controls on waste sources, restore degraded and seriously polluted rivers, strengthen management on water sources.

The city will also strictly manage and control waste water treatment, especially for industrial production that pose a risk of pollution and reuse waste water after treatment.

Hà Nội will actively cooperate with provinces and cities in the region to share experiences and policies to ensure water security towards sustainable development. — VNS