Da Nang, Vietnam Faces 1 Billion Cubic Meter Drinking Water Shortage

DA NANG, Vietnam

The central Vietnamese city of Da Nang is facing a potential water shortage of 1 billion cubic meters during the upcoming dry season, according to government officials.

The city is actually very rich in water resources, but it has difficulty turning its natural sources into pumped water for daily needs, Deputy Director of the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development Huynh Van Thang said.

Nearby water sources could provide the city with 231,059 cubic meters of water a day, but many of the sources are facing diminished capacity due to saline intrusion, according to a recently released report on solving the city’s water management problems in the face of climate change.

The city’s water demand is also increasing rapidly. Seventy percent of water volume comes during the rainy season, leaving the city with shortages in the dry season, Thang said.

The Dak Mi 4 hydropower plant on the upper part of the Vu Gia River also disrupts the city’s water supply, the official added, saying that in the dry season the plant uses 1.2 billion cubic meters of water, which causes a shortfall in the lower reaches of the river.

“The situation would be more serious, if no proper solution is found,” Vietnam.net Bridge quoted Thang as saying.

A Da Nang Water Supply Company representative said the city’s Cau Do Water Plant needs 200,000 cubic meters a day to meet all water needs. However, the plant’s supply comes from the reservoir at the An Trach Dam, which is relatively far away and provides low quality water. Therefore, the cost of producing clean water has greatly increased.

That is why this can only be a temporary solution, and water needs to be taken directly from the Cau Do River in order to provided the city with sufficient supply, the representative added.

There is also an issue of increased pollution in the river due to overexploitation and uncontrolled mining, both of which are degrading water quality, according to Pham Hong Son, a senior official of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment.

The city could face water restrictions if the shortage is not solved, the Da Nang Water Supply Company said. Officials from the city and hydropower plants need to work together to develop a plan that supplies both with efficient water.

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