Vietnam Water Week seeks solutions for sustainable development

November, 10/2022 - 16:29
Climate change, drought, natural disasters, and saltwater intrusion, together with population growth and rapid urbanisation, have significant impacts on the development of the water sector in Việt Nam.
Water science and technology on display at Vietnam Water Week 2022. — Photo baochinhphu.vn

HÀ NỘI — Vietnam Water Week, a platform for experts, scientists and businesses in the water sector to exchange experiences and come up with long-term solutions to the adverse impacts of epidemics, natural disasters and climate change, opened on Thursday morning.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mai Thị Liên Hương, director of the Technical Infrastructure Department under the Ministry of Construction, said that just 15 per cent of urban wastewater in Việt Nam is treated.

Hương said Việt Nam has more than 750 clean water factories in urban and rural areas with a total capacity of 11.6 million cu.m per day.

As many as 92 per cent of urban residents can access clean water. However, she said there are only 71 concentrated wastewater treatment factories nationwide with a total designed capacity of about 1.38 million cu.m per day.

Climate change, drought, natural disasters, and saltwater intrusion, together with population growth and rapid urbanisation, have significant impacts on the development of the water sector in Việt Nam.

Addressing problems from water security, water supply safety, floods in urban areas, and wastewater treatment is a challenge for the Vietnamese water industry, Hương said.

She expressed her hope that State agencies will continue to finalise water supply and sewerage regulations and create policies encouraging economic sectors to invest in building, managing and operating water systems.

Hương said that water supply and sewerage businesses must apply advanced science technology in building, managing and operating water systems, protecting the environment, saving energy and water resources, and adapting to climate change and sustainable development.

Delivering an opening remark at the Vietnam Water Week on Thursday, Nguyễn Ngọc Điệp, chairman of the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association (VWSA), said safety and security in water sector activities are as important as other factors, such as poverty reduction and improvement of life quality, and serves as a foundation for other development goals of each country.

He said that the Vietnamese water sector had faced several challenges, including incomplete institutions, problems in drainage and wastewater treatment problems, and city flooding.

“The water sector must make lots of efforts to achieve the Government’s goals and UN Sustainable Development Goals towards 2030,” he said.

At the conference titled “Water policy - Sustainable development” held within the framework of Vietnam Water Week 2022 on Thursday, Dr Trần Anh Tuấn, vice chairman of VWSA, said the urban sewerage systems in Việt Nam were built in different periods and did not match urban development. Rainwater and sewage water share the same drainage system.

In rural areas, there is no wastewater collection and treatment system. Urban flooding occurs in almost all urban areas with increasing frequency due to rain and tides, especially in big cities such as Hà Nội, HCM City, Đà Nẵng, Cần Thơ and coastal urban areas. Even cities located in mountainous areas are flooded, he said.

He proposed approving the Law on Water Supply and Sewerage, focusing on clean water supply for urban, rural areas and industrial clusters.

Participants at the Vietnam Water Week are expected to share their policy-building experience, especially in compiling Law on Water Supply and Sewerage, to help Việt Nam and other countries achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal towards 2030 of ensuring water supply and sanitation.

The Ministry of Construction and Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association organised the event from November 9 to 11. — VNS

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