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Da Nang: Short on Water by 1 Billion Cubic Meters

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The central city of Da Nang, the best city in Vietnam to live in as selected in a recent survey, has been warned that it would lack over one billion cubic meters of running water in the dry season. Huynh Van Thang, Deputy Director of the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development, said while Da Nang is rich in water natural resources, it still faces big challenges in getting running water for daily life.

The report released at a recent meeting to discuss the solutions to manage the surface water in the context of the climate change showed that the water sources can provide 231,059 cubic meters per day. However, the water in many areas is getting exhausted because of the salinity intrusion. Meanwhile, the water demand in the city has been increasing rapidly.

According to Thang, 70 percent of the water volume is provided in the rainy season with high capacity, while Da Nang faces the drought in the dry season.

Thang also pointed out that the operation of the hydropower plant system on the upper course of the Vu Gia River has badly affected the water current and the water supply to the city.

In the dry season, Dak Mi 4 hydropower plant uses 1.2 billion cubic meters, lessening the water output to the Vu Gia River’s lower course. If the Song Bung hydropower plant puts into operation, the city would lack some 700 cubic meters. Meanwhile, Da Nang currently lacks 1 billion cubic meters of water in the dry season already.

“The situation would be more serious, if no proper solution is found,” Thang maintained.

According to the representative from the Da Nang Water Supply Company, the Cau Do Water Plant needs 200,000 cubic meters of water a day to make running water for people. Since Cau Do has to use the water from the An Trach dam, which is relatively far from the plant and provides low quality water, the clean water production cost has increased sharply.

The executive from the water supply company emphasized that using the water from the An Trach dam is just a temporary solution for now, while in the long term, Cau Do River needs to be provided sufficient water.

The water shortage would force the company to restrict the water supply or cut the supply, which would badly affect the security and socio-economic development of the city.

Meanwhile, the pollution in the riverhead sections has become more serious due to the overexploitation and uncontrolled mining activities. This has also made the water quality degrading.

Pham Hong Son, a senior official of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, said the problem lies in the way of regulating the water capacity through the Vu Gia – Thu Bon valley.

In order to provide enough water to both the hydropower plants and the city, the local authorities, the developers of the hydropower plant projects and relevant agencies need to sit together to discuss how to regulate the water output.

The official pointed out that the water supply to Da Nang much depends on Quang Nam province, where there are the upper courses of the rivers and the hydropower plants. Therefore, Da Nang and Quang Nam local authorities need to discuss possible measures.

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