The HCM City People’s Committee has petitioned the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to restrict the granting of new licences to exploit groundwater.— Photo moitruongsaigon.com.vn
HCM CITY — The HCM City People’s Committee has petitioned the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to restrict the granting of new licences to exploit groundwater.
Under current regulations, the city has authority to grant licences to exploit less than 3,000cu.m of groundwater a day in the city, while the ministry has authority to grant licences to exploit more than 3,000cu.m of groundwater a day in the city.
The city now has at least 15 groundwater exploitation licences granted by the ministry.
These licensed projects are allowed to exploit a total of nearly 143,000cu.m a day, accounting for nearly 20 per cent of the city’s total volume of exploited groundwater a day.
The city now exploits about 716,600cu.m of groundwater a day, according to the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
Of the figure, more than 355,000cu.m are exploited by households and the rest by companies.
The People’s Committee has implemented measures to restrict groundwater exploitation as demand has exceeded the available level of groundwater.
The committee ordered the State-owned Sài Gòn Water Supply Corporation (Sawaco) and other clean-water suppliers to reduce the exploitation of groundwater and increase the use of surface water.
It has told Sawaco and other clean-water suppliers to improve supply networks to ensure supply of clean water for households and companies.
Under the city’s plan to reduce the exploitation of groundwater to 2025, issued in March, the city will reduce exploitation to 487,000cu.m a day by the end of this year, to 310,000cu.m a day next year, and to 100,000cu.m a day by 2025.
Bùi Thanh Giang, deputy general director of Sawaco, told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that Sawaco had stopped operating many groundwater wells in outlying districts like Bình Chánh and Hóc Môn.
Sawaco now exploits about 115,000cu.m of groundwater a day and will reduce this volume to 100,000cu.m a day by the end of the year, to 70,000cu.m a day by 2020, he said.
Sawaco plans to increase the coverage of its clean water supply network in the city.
Nguyễn Thị Thanh Mỹ, deputy director of the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the department had given information about the plan to districts.
Districts had authority to grant licences for exploiting groundwater at a volume of less than 20cu.m a day, she said. — VNS