Fresh water for daily use in HCM City has been priced at 6 per cent higher than the previous rate since mid November.
|BOO Thu Duc 3 Water Plant is equipped with modern technology. — Photo courtesy of nhandan.com.vn|
Environmental pollution and the impact of climate change have negatively affected the quality of water in rivers and canals in HCM City, especially the Sai Gon and Dong Nai river systems, according to a source from Nhân Dân (the People) newspaper.
To protect these water sources, the HCM City's Department of Natural Resources and Environment needs to carry out a number of measures, including developing master long-term and short-term plans on the granting of permits for the use of water and reform of administrative procedures.
In addition, relevant authorities should conduct research; monitor water exploitation activities via automatic, online technology; and strengthen coordination of management of waste discharge activities.
To avoid the risk of water pollution and lack of clean water for local use, vice chairman of HCM City People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan instructed relevant authorities to carry out necessary tasks on safe water supply and water security.
Specifically, the Sai Gon Water Corporation (Sawaco), in collaboration with departments of Construction, Natural Resources and Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Planning and Architecture, among other agencies, is in charge of drafting an urgent plan on safe water supply and water security, and later submitting it to the People’s Committee for approval.
According to this plan, Dong Nai River, Sai Gon River and Dong Cu Chi Canal will have their water quality checked for potential pollution.
As results are collected, authorities will have specific plans for each case, including safety control of clean water supply systems and risk minimisation on pipeline network systems.
To efficiently provide clean water, HCM City will take raw water from Sai Gon and Dong Nai rivers at Hoa Phu and Hoa An pumping stations. From there, water will be taken to Tan Hiep and Thu Duc water plants for treatment before it is given out to locals.
Sawaco has drafted multiple check-up plans on raw water sources to ensure the safest water for locals.
Every month, the corporation hires boats for experts to supervise the river basin, including large canals with water that flows into the river. They then take water samples for quality inspection, determine potential polluted spots, and come up with possible solutions.
According to deputy general director of Sawaco Bui Thanh Giang, to prevent incidents, the corporation carries out hourly monitoring and invested in quality monitoring and pipeline systems.
The HCM City Disease Control Centre has also implemented independent monitoring of water quality in the area while all water plants have applied safe water supply programmes, he said.
Giang added that the HCM City water supply system could ideally generate 2.4 million cu.m of clean water per day, not to mention the extra capacity of 500,000cu.m per day the system can produce.
Hence, the clean water supply for locals is always sufficient and stable, he said.
Giang stressed the importance of building some filter ponds in an effort to tackle potential pollution discharged from industrial parks or daily wastewater.
Sawaco has considered a saltwater dam on the upper reaches of Sai Gon River and sedimentation and regulating lakes along the Dong Nai and Sai Gon rivers.
“If this plan is approved, we will start construction immediately as it will help ensure water safety for the city in the next 50 years,” Giang said.
Sawaco has also proposed building several underground water tanks in the inner city area. These would be a source of clean water for locals if unexpected incidents harmed water safety. If the level of organic substances or ammonium increased, the online monitoring system would dispense a sufficient amount of chlorine to treat the water.
If the pollution level exceeded the treatment threshold and water from Sai Gon River could not be used, Sawaco said that Dau Tieng Reservoir could be used to discharge saline water and wash the solution out.
The HCMC government has urged the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to cease issuing new licenses for the exploitation and use of groundwater throughout the city, due to increased water pollution and land subsidence.
The Directorate of Market Surveillance under the Ministry of Industry and Trade has instructed Hanoi market watch to put a stop to rising prices of bottled water.