Liên hiệp các hội và khoa học kỹ thuật Việt Nam
2022-11-14 11:03

Strengthening water security and safety of dams and reservoirs

In the morning of November 9, a workshop on “Improving the effectiveness of the implementation of the Politburo's Conclusion No. 36 on water security and safety of dams and reservoirs” took place in Hanoi.

The workshop was co-organized by The Vietnam’s Union of Scientific and Technological Associations (VUSTA) and The Vietnam’s Irrigation Association with the participation of more than 50 experts who are leading scientists in the field of natural resources, environment, natural disaster prevention, etc.

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Picture of the workshop

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, President of VUSTA Mr. Phan Xuan Dung said that Vietnam was a country with abundant water resources. The average total volume of surface water is about 840 billion m3/year. More than 7,500 dams and reservoirs have created an active water storage capacity of over 70 billion m3.

However, Vietnam's water resources are facing a decline in reserves due to the impact of climate change and sea level rise; changed water flows; dependence on water sources generated from the country; and forest degradation leading to reduced water storage and water sources regulations. In addition, the process of socio-economic development, industrialization and urbanization; population growth and increased demand on daily water usage, production and business, and water pollution, which have not been properly solved, caused reduced water quality.

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President of VUSTA Mr.Phan Xuan Dung delivered anopening speech

President Phan Xuan Dung shared that, over the past time, the State has allocated nearly VND 10,000 billion to repair and upgrade to ensure safety for more than 800 reservoirs. However, there are still 1,200 damaged and degraded reservoirs that have not been repaired or upgraded, of which 200 are seriously damaged and need urgent fixing. In the coming time, if there is no breakthrough solution, Vietnam will face the risk of water insecurity and unsafety of dams and reservoirs, which will adversely affect people's lives and the socio-economic development.

According to the Chairman of The Vietnam’s Irrigation Association, there’s a misunderstanding on the function of the Ministry - the state management agency. Irrigation does not only serve the agricultural sector, and energy does not only serve the industry. Irrigation or energy both serve a variety of purposes, including people's lives and socio-economic development. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development or the Ministry of Industry and Trade are state management agencies for the tasks assigned by the Government, and they are multi-sectoral management agencies which cannot be considered as "household users". In terms of management of individual sectors, is it possible to have the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment take over the coordination task?

“In order to protect, extract and develop water resources, it is necessary to study river basin planning, calculate water balance over a large area, from which to lay out strategies and plans. "- Chairman Dao Xuan Hoc shared.

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Chairman of The Vietnam’sIrrigation Association Mr.Dao Xuan Hoc asked the question:Is the coordinating role of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment appropriate?

Chairman of The Vietnam’s Irrigation Association Mr. Dao Xuan Hoc emphasized: "It is impossible to make a plan for the whole Mekong Delta region without taking into account the situation of the upper Mekong River, in order to work out strategies as well as plans, solutions on flood prevention and control, infiltration and reclamation of alum, water supply and drainage for the Mekong Delta”.

According to Director of The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development - General Department of Irrigation (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) Mr. Le Hung Nam, it is necessary to have non-structural and structural solutions. In which, it is necessary to establish and adjust urban planning in the direction of taking advantage of natural advantages to increase the level of adaptation; Reasonable water drainage basin division taking into account regional linkages; Capacity building of urban governments; Reviewing drainage projects in cities and urban areas; Prioritize capital to renovate and repair the old drainage system.

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Director of Agriculture and Rural Development Department - General Department of Irrigation (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) Mr. Le Hung Nam gave a speech

According to expert Le Kim Truyen, Conclusion 36-KL/TW is an opportunity and a leverage for the development of the irrigation industry. To bring Conclusion 36-KL/TW into life, it is necessary to develop programs. From the main tasks and solutions stated in the Conclusion 36-KL/TW, she proposed to build 9 programs such as: Promote communication, raise community awareness on locations of water resources; Restructure the governance of the water sector, review and supplement institutions and policies; Strengthen the management of construction works according to progressive standards and criteria suitable for our country's conditions; Review and evaluate irrigation planning and tasks, quality of existing works, possibility of increasing reservoir capacity, water storage capacity in river basins; Apply international experience and scientific and technical progress; Improve the quality and efficiency in operation management to ensure safety of dams and reservoirs, minimizing downstream flooding.

Comments and solutions offered by scientists, research agencies, and policy consultants will be scientific arguments contributing to improving the effectiveness of the Politburo's Conclusion No. 36-KL/TW in the coming time.

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Ms. Bui Kim Tuyen - Head of the Advisory Committee for Questioning and Social Assessment of VUSTA speaks at the workshop

On June 23, 2022, the Politburo issued Conclusion No. 36-KL/TW on water security and safety of dams and reservoirs until 2030, with a vision to 2045.

Accordingly, besides the achievements, the Politburo assess that the work of  water source security and safety of dams and reservoirs in our country still has many limitations such as weak and ineffective water management, lack of awareness and responsibility of many agencies, organizations, localities and people in water management, exploitation and use of water, and water source pollution.

In particular, the legal system, mechanisms and policies related to water source security, safety of dams and reservoirs is still insufficient and inconsistent. Many irrigation works have been degrade; risks and unsafety of dams and reservoirs tend to increase. The development of industry and urban areas in recent years has not been aligned with water security, reducing the quantity and quality of water sources, even causing insecurity of water sources;International cooperation on water security is not very effective.

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