A shortage of clean water is threatening 500 residents living on An Bình Islet, three miles from Lý Sơn Island off the coast of Quảng Ngãi Province, due to a faltering desalination plant and lack of rainfall.— VNA/VNS Photo
AN BÌNH ISLET, LÝ SƠN ISLANDS — A shortage of clean water is threatening 500 residents living on An Bình Islet, three miles from Lý Sơn Island off the coast of Quảng Ngãi Province, due to a faltering desalination plant and lack of rainfall.
Vice chairwoman of Lý Sơn District’s People’s Committee, Phạm Thị Hương, said the islet had reserved water for the 40,000 tourists who had flocked from mainland to the district since early this year.
There was just about enough water for daily use among residents on An Bình Islet, and additional water was being shipped from Lý Sơn Island for the tourism high-season, Hương said.
Fresh water from the South Korean heavy industries group Doosan Vina desalination station, which had fallen into disrepair after just seven years of operation, only supplied 20 cubic metres – 10 per cent of its capacity – each day.
“Local islanders are having to buy water from Lý Sơn for VNĐ220,000 (US$9.7) per cubic metre – 27 times more than the original subsidised price from the desalination plant,” Hương said.
“The desalination plant operated on a diesel-driven generator, and the pumping system has been seriously damaged due to time and a lack of fund for maintenance work. It can only operate for 10 hours per day to supply limited clean water,” she said.
The vice chairwoman has asked for technical support from Doosan Vina and the province to find a long-term solution.
She said 15,000 tourists visited the area during the long national holiday (between April 27 and May Day).
Hương said the station could supply enough fresh water for the 500 people who lived on An Bình Islet, but it would become overloaded with mass tourism.
Lý Sơn District has called for a US$12 million sea water desalination project to supply fresh water for residents, and the development of a drainage recycling system and more water containers from the Government. — VNS