Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Water Resources Directorate (WRD) plans to repair some 700 reservoirs at high risk of bursting by 2030, an official said on November 23.
Dam safety was one of the key issues discussed at a conference on the national irrigation strategy until 2030 with vision towards 2050 held in Hà Nội on Novermber 23. The conference was jointly organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the World Bank.
WRD’s Department of Clean Water and Rural Environment Deputy Director Lê Hồng Nam said that authorities were planning to improve reservoir safety, in particular 700 seriously-degraded ones.
According to a report by the WRD, there were a total of 1,200 degraded dams nationwide, most of which were built three to four decades ago, currently at imminent risk of bursting especially during heavy rains or storms.
A project funded by the World Bank, Việt Nam’s Dam Rehabilitation and Safety Improvement Project, was already working on some 450 damaged reservoirs which were facing safety risks.
Nam said that the 700 dams in question are not those being fixed by the World Bank project, implying that Việt Nam for the first time might seriously tackle the dam safety problem.
The application of technology was also a key part of a general development strategy for Việt Nam’s irrigation.
“Technology (used in irrigation) aims to reach Asia’s average level in 2020, and the global average in 2050,” Nam told the conference.
According to Nam, advanced technology will be applied in forecasts of drought, flood and salinisation, as well as in building a map of flooded areas in river deltas.
The general goal of Việt Nam’s future irrigation system is to meet the water demand of an irrigated agriculture and of the people’s daily lives in adaptation to climate change, he added.
Agriculture and rural development deputy minister Hoàng Văn Thắng said that the nation’s water resources were facing newly emerging challenges from climate change, notably the increasingly severe droughts and salinisation in recent years.
The irrigation system had no other choice than to seek new investment resources, instead of relying solely on the limited State budget, to prepare itself for such challenges.
Thắng said that the Government encouraged public-private partnerships (PPP) in irrigation projects, calling on people and society stakeholders to participate in the development of the national irrigation system. — VNS