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Hồng River water could be used to refresh West Lake and Tô Lịch River

Update: December, 20/2018 - 20:00
A view of West Lake in Hà Nội. The lake’s water level has been decreasing in recent years. - VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội Sewage and Drainage Company One Member Co, Ltd has proposed using millions of cubic metres of water each year from the Hồng (Red) River to refresh the water supply in West Lake and Tô Lịch River.

At a conference on sustainable measures to improve the water quality of West Lake held on December 19, chairman of the company Võ Tiến Hùng said West Lake was facing a depleted water level due to evaporation and underground imbibition. 

Rain is currently the only source of natural water for the lake.

In the dry season, the amount of rainfall was low while a lot of water evaporates. Climate change and the prolonged heatwaves it can bring have threatened the lake’s water level, Hùng said.

Moreover, the lake was severely contaminated.

“It could turn into a dead lake if the pollution is not solved and the water level continues to decrease, affecting its ecosystem,” he was quoted as saying by e-newspaper Dân trí.

As a result, supplying fresh, clean water for the lake was vital.

Hùng said the company suggested three potential sources of water for the lake and Tô Lịch River, including groundwater from wells, water from Nhuệ River and water from the Red River.

Scientists at the conference agreed with the suggestion of taking water from the Red River. 

Dương Thanh Lượng, former chairman of the Irrigation University, said the amount of sediment in the Red River has been declining in recent years, making it a more convenient choice to supply additional water to clean up West Lake and Tô Lịch River.

The decreased levels of sediment would make the mud treatment process less complicated and expensive. However, he said, the problem was that the Red River was also experiencing reduced water levels.

Therefore, it would be necessary to calculate the water source and the correct time in the year to pump water, he said.

Lượng also said the use of Red River water in Tô Lịch River needed to be reconsidered, as it would require the construction of a very costly 10.5km pipeline.

The best way, according to Lượng, would be to take water from the Red River to West Lake and then from West Lake to Tô Lịch River.

Trần Đức Hạ, director of Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association, said water treatment must be carefully considered and implemented to ensure a healthy environment for the lake’s aquatic life.

Mai Đình Yên, vice chairman of the Vietnam Ecology Association, agreed, saying the whole process needed to be done slowly so scientists could monitor the status of aquatic life in the lake. — VNS

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