Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, who also heads the National Water Resources Council, made this statement on January 19 at a Hanoi conference with the theme ‘Water resources and sustainable development’.
VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam is in danger of lacking freshwater due to the impacts of industrialization, population growth and climate change and it needs sound strategies and international cooperation to remedy the situation.
To deal with this challenge, Mr Hai said, the Vietnamese Government has adopted an effective and sustainable development strategy to exploit water resources economically and has enacted a Law on Water Resources. Mr Hai added that the government endorsed a national strategy on these resources toward 2020, drew up a programme of national goals on addressing climate change and is seeking to expand international cooperation in managing water resources.
The Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Nguyen Thai Lai, told the conference that Vietnam’s water reserve, some 11,000m3 per capita annually, is average for the world. But he added that this amount is not equally distributed and is being seriously affected by a shortage of construction works for its regulation, by unplanned and wasteful usage and by pollution.
Mr Lai emphasized that the first and foremost solution to the problem is to use water in a rational and economical way, which must go hand in hand with the protection and development of water supplies. He underscored the expansion of international cooperation as a means of maximizing resources for improving state management of water supplies.
Nearly 20 speeches by local and foreign managers and scientists assessed the situation of water resources in Vietnam and the impact of polluted water sources on community health as well as proposed technological methods of treating water.
The National Water Resources Council, which advises the government on important matters regarding water resources, including policies and strategies, zoning plans for major river basins, and projects to protect and use water, has devised mechanisms for information exchange related to water resources and prepared a government decree on management of reservoirs for irrigation or electricity generation.
The conference was sponsored by the Institute for Technology Development, Media and Community Assistance with additional sponsorship from the National Assembly Committee on Science, Technology and Environment and the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations.