Water warning for HCM City

Update: May, 14/2010 - 09:37

HCM CITY — International experts agreed that HCM City must improve their management of water sources in order to cope with the impact of climate change.

"As one of cities in the world which will suffer the most from climate change due to its proximity near the sea and low elevation, water management will be a crucial task for the city," said Dao Anh Kiet, director of the municipal Natural Resource and Environment Department.

These remarks were made on Wednesday at the opening of the C40 Urban Life workshop.

"We would like to deliver sustainable solutions to ensure water security," said Wilfred Lau, chief executive of a London-based consulting group, Arup Viet Nam.

According to the company's research, the water supply is low during the dry season and abundant during the raining season, which yields 36 billion cubic metres.

"Climate change will cause sea levels to rise, longer dry seasons and more extreme summer rainfall," said Roger Alley, ARUP team leader for the water supply, drainage and sewerage sectors.

Urban flooding is likely to increase, which will saturate the land with salt water and deplete sources of fresh water.

"The city needs more raw water storage areas, design schemes to combat salinity, implement demand management and improves basin management to cope with this situation," Alley suggested.

With more raw water storage, the city could boost dry season resources, meet consumer demands, prevent pollution, optimise water quality and control flooding.

The company representative noted that storing raw water could also help combat against saline contamination.

"Water demand management is not supply driven. It represents a shift from the traditional supply-oriented approach toward one of water conservation," Alley said.

Irrigation consumes nearly half of the city's water resources, therefore, Alley stressed that the city should improve its canal linings and storage units, while introducing effective pipe systems that prevent the loss of water through leaks or evaporation.

As for the management of the river basin, he suggested setting up a single authoritative body for the basin.

In 2009, ARUP was chosen as a strategic consulting company for C40, which is a group of large cities committed to tackling climate change. The group is in a partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative to support cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a range of energy efficient and clean energy programmes. — VNS