Underground water overexploitation in HCMC causes serious subsidence

HCMC authorities have asked city residents to fill in water wells because underground water overexploitation is believed to be the cause of flooding and subsidence.

According to Huynh Thanh Nha from the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the overexploitation has led to a decline in underground water and has changed geological structure.

Underground water overexploitation in HCMC causes serious subsidence



There are about 100,000 water wells drilled by households and production enterprises to exploit underground water.

About 700,000 cubic meters of water is exploited through the wells each day, including 355,859 cubic meters by households, 58,150 cubic meters by industrial zones, 172,572 cubic meters by the enterprises outside industrial zones and other users, and 130,000 cubic meters by the Sai Gon Water Supply Company (Sawaco).

Sawaco reported that there are 1.46 million water meters in the city, of which 124,500 meters show the consumption level of 0 cubic meters, which means that people are not using water provided by the company.

About 700,000 cubic meters of water is exploited through the wells each day, including 355,859 cubic meters by households, 58,150 cubic meters by industrial zones, 172,572 cubic meters by the enterprises outside industrial zones and other users, and 130,000 cubic meters by the Sai Gon Water Supply Company (Sawaco).
 

The uncontrolled exploitation of underground water has caused serious consequences. According to MONRE, the subsidence rate in HCMC is very high, 4 centimeters per annum on average and 6.7 centimeters in some areas.

The subsidence is attributed to construction works on soft ground, traffic activities, and the overexploitation of underground water.

In An Lac ward of Binh Tan district, the subsidence rate is up to 81.4 centimeters, the highest rate in the southern region. The Nguyen Huu Canh road subsided just one year after it was put into operation.

The municipal authorities have spent a lot of money to fix the problem, but no considerable improvement has been made and the road will is flooded when it rains heavily.

The districts of Binh Chanh, Nha Be, 7 and Binh Thanh have also been named as areas with high subsidence rates. The ground is very soft in Phu Dinh area in district 8, so minor impact from construction works is enough to cause subsidence and cracks to houses.

Regarding water quality, according to the HCMC Healthcare Center, which tested 149 water samples, 72 percent of samples meet standards in physical chemistry and microbiological criteria.

HCMC authorities have called on residents to fill in the wells they drilled to reduce underground exploitation, while they have committed to provide clean tap water to households.

According to Nguyen Van Dang, director of Gia Dinh Water Supply JSC, there are 17,000 water wells in the districts 3, Binh Thanh, Phu Nhuan and Go Vap. In 2019, the company persuades 2,000 households to fill in their wells, while the figure would be 3,000 the next year. It costs VND1.2 million to fill in a well.

Hong Ha

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