Vietnam needs up to US$10.2 billion to invest in new water supply and sewerage projects to meet increasing clean water demand, which will approximate 10 million cubic meters a day by 2020.
Residents use tap water in Phuoc Kien commune, Nha Be district, HCMC
According to Technical Infrastructure Bureau under the Ministry of Construction, Vietnam now has nearly 800 urban areas with clean water supply capacity totaling 7.4 million cubic meters a day, up 1.6 times over ten years ago.
By 2020, the number of urban residents is forecast to reach 44 million people and clean water demand will increase to 9.6-10 million cubic meters a day.
So the country needs $3.3 billion to build new water plants and improve the existing water supply systems and other works. Investment need in urban household wastewater treatment facilities will reach $6.9 billion in the next five years
Despite increasing demand, surface and underground water sources have been polluted while water supply pipe system has been patchy and badly downgraded. In addition, residents’ clean water reservoirs and septic tanks have been built differently in places. That has caused flooding, wastewater leaking pollute freshwater source and affect water quality.
Water loss ratio has been high, approximating 24 percent in cities. HCMC and Hanoi see the highest loss ratio topping 30 percent because water supply pipe system has been built for a long time and seriously downgraded.
HCMC’s water supply pipe system is over 2,000 kilometer long, built for over 50 years. Replacement and repair of the system require a big capital, go through many residential areas and affect other works.
The Vietnamese Government has set a target that 100 percent population in big cities will be supplied with clean water by 2020. To obtain the target, the country needs many assistance mechanisms to encourage domestically and abroad economic sectors to attend in the field.
Calculations by Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association show that each province or city must build an extra of 2-3 water plants with the capacity of 100,000 cubic meters a day to provide enough water. Still construction of a plant requires as much as hundreds to thousands of billions of dong, which is a big challenge to meet surging clean water demand.
Association chairman Cao Lai Quang said that the largest challenge of the water supply and sewerage industry in the upcoming time was from the urban population growth rate of about 2 percent a year, resulting in increasing capital demand for water supply projects.
According to Mr. Quang, the participation of private sector in this field has been limited while investment demand is forecast to be very large in the upcoming time. So encouraging domestically and abroad private sector to attend the field is an inevitable direction.
The Government should have many assistance policies and create advantageous conditions for the sector to participate in the field, improve human resource quality as cadres and officials are inexperienced and short of predictability, especially in front of the increasingly strong impact of climate change.