HCM CITY — Although state management of water resources has improved, it has still not reached an adequate level, according to HCM City officials.
|Workers install equipment to improve water-use efficiency at Thu Duc water treatment plant. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha
"Water inspections have not been done with high efficiency, and the fines for violations are too small, not high enough to stop people wasting water," said Nguyen Van Nga, head of the HCM City Department of Natural Resource and Environment's Water Management Division.
Nga also reported that the legal framework for water management was outdated and that procedures for water exploitation were still cumbersome.
Although the city is well aware that untreated waste water directly affects potable water quality, HCM City still has only one waste water treatment plant, which serves the entire city.
The department said it would strengthen inspections, and the granting of licenses for water usage and waste water. It also plans to conduct research and support the city in issuing new regulations.
The department provides research results for institutes and universities involved in scientific research.
Underground water management is another area of concern. Around 30 wards in 12 districts are not allowed to exploit underground water.
Nga said that public awareness about water savings would also be strengthened.
"However, if we want to have a good water management, we must have a master plan among related authorities, including the usage of water and land," Nga added.
For the last three years, 231 companies or organisations were fined VND1.6 billion (US$80,000) for water management violations. — VNS