Climate change threatens water security

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SaiGon GP English - 2 month(s) ago 2 readings

Ensuring water security is becoming an urgent task for Vietnam in the context of climate change impacting all aspects of life, heard a conference on Wednesday.

Ensuring water security is becoming an urgent task for Vietnam in the context of climate change impacting all aspects of life, heard a conference on Wednesday.

Ensuring water security is becoming an urgent task for Vietnam in the context of climate change impacting all aspects of life, heard a conference on Wednesday. (Photo: baotainguyenmoitruong.vn)

Held by Vietnam's Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VAFIE), the Vietnam Academy for Water Resources (VAWR), Germany’s Network for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and German Agency for International Co-operation, the conference aimed to improve public awareness of the consequences of climate change on the environment, especially on water security.

It also allowed domestic and foreign scientists and agencies to discuss science and technology and experience in preventing environmental disasters.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Viet Thanh said that climate change has made protecting water resources more complicated.

River water and ground water levels are decreasing, while sea levels, flood tides and salt intrusion are on the rise, he said, adding that the demand for water in production and daily activities has increased due to industrialisation, urbanisation and population growth.

According to Dr Prof Nguyen Mai, VAFIE chairman, several factors have posed difficulties for Vietnam in ensuring water security. They include industrialisation, exploitation of energy generated from water and the expansion of irrigation and drainage systems in upstream countries.

Moreover, climate change and natural disasters are also leading to an imbalance of water resources. Prolonged heat and decreases in rainfall are threatening all regions in the country.

The demand for water in the country has also increased from 50 billion cu.m a year in 1990 to 72 billion cu.m a year in 2010. It is predicted to reach 80 billion cu.m in 2020.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Association suggested Vietnam pay attention to dealing with four issues: socio-economic and environmental impacts of water use, relationship between land use and water resources, consequences of shifting water resources and social matters arising during a water crisis.

VAWR Deputy Director Tran Dinh Hoa stressed the need for co-operation between countries to protect and use water resources effectively and equally.

“It is also necessary to have a complete policy system on water resources to increase the efficiency of water management, protection and use, and change public awareness and action in ensuring water security”, he added.

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