Ensuring water-resource security and balancing supply and demand of using water was identified as key missions this year for the National Council on Water Resources.
These are challenges facing the country, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, chairman of the council, said last Friday at a meeting held in Ha Noi.
The missions were targeted in the context that the country’s water sources have been in decline due to over-use, according to the Centre for Planning and Survey National Water Resources.
Population growth has caused an increase in demand for water in recent years, the centre said.
Hai assigned the council to build proper long-term management plans for using water in the future in order to implement the plans.
The council was also asked to focus on minimizing adverse impacts caused by water, he said.
At the meeting, participants discussed building a system of legal documents to manage water resources, establish river-basin management organisations and research the impacts of hydro-electric works on river basins.
The participants also gave their comments on building monitoring systems along Viet Nam-China and Viet Nam-Cambodia shared waterways, as well as hydro-meteorological and water-resource observation networks.
Head of the ministry’s Department of Water Resources Management Hoang Van Bay said that a lack of capital was blamed for delays in several projects, such as observing fluctuations of water resources or making plans to provide water nationwide due to climate change.
The National Council on Natural Resources was set up in 2000 to consult with the Government in making decisions about water resources.
In a related move, Hai recently ordered the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to review water resources throughout the country and send a report to the Government.
Statistics show that Viet Nam’s total volume of surface water reaches 830 – 840 billion cubic metres, about 63 per cent of which originates in neighbouring countries.
Under the National Strategy on Natural Resources, by 2020 the country will have some 2,370 rivers. Nine major rivers, including Hong, Bang Giang – Ky Cung, Ma, Ca, Dong Nai and Cuu Long, and four sections of rivers of Da, Lo, Se San and Sre Pok, have created river basins of more than 10,000 square kilometers, accounting for 93 per cent of the total river-basin area in the country.