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December 3, 2021, 2:18 am

Underground water degradation threatens urbanites

(13:57:18 PM 24/01/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - Underground water, which provides 35-50 percent of the total water volume provided to urban areas nationwide, has been seriously polluted and decreasing in reserves.

Underground water faces high risks


According to Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Tran Hong Ha, the increased population, climate change and rapid urbanization have all led to the water reserve and quality decreases.


In Hanoi, the recent surveys found arsenic on both the Holocene and Pleistocene layers (hollow and deep). The most seriously polluted area is located in the southern part of the city.


The experts, who took water samples from the households living in 34 places near the 13 main water supply plants and four water stations, found that 46 percent of the samples had the arsenic content exceeding the level permitted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Vietnamese standards.


Most of the places found  rich in arsenic, surprisingly, were located near water plants, such as Nam Du, Yen Phu, Luong Yen, Gia Lam, Phap Van and Linh Dam.


The scientists have also found the close relations between the arsenic concentration and the time of the year. The high arsenic concentrations can be found in the second and fourth quarter, while the concentrations are lower in the first and third quarters.


The rivers and lakes in big cities such as Hanoi and HCM City, where there are big industrial zones and residential quarters all have got polluted. Most of the waste water from industrial workshops and domestic waste have been discharged directly to the rivers and lakes without going through any treatment.


Trieu Duc Huy from the National Center for Water Resource Programming and Research has warned that the underground water has been degrading in both quantity and quality.


“The water sources are getting depleted, while the water quality is getting degraded due to the contamination, salinization,” Huy said.


Hanoians have been warned that they may not have clean water to use in the future, once the underground water gets degraded.


According to the Hanoi Water Company, the degradation ratio of water wells is 4-6 percent per annum. Meanwhile, the water from Da River, one of the two main supply sources, can provide 60,000 cubic meters per day only, due to the limited transmission line.


Meanwhile, the water demand of Hanoians increases rapidly by 3-4 percent. This means that 60,000-70,000 cubic meters would be lacking a day.


Easier said than done


Le Ke Son, Deputy Director of the Environment General Directorate, pointed out that the underground water has got polluted because of many reasons, from the industrial production development, the existence of craft villages, to the pesticide abuse in agriculture production.


Son complained that it is getting more and more difficult to control the pollution, once more and more industrial factories are set up.


The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment believes that it is necessary to integrate the water natural resource control and programming into the socio-economic development plans. It is urgently necessarily to set up the “water protection corridor” which comprises of hydropower reservoirs, irrigation water reservoirs, artificial lakes in urban areas and residential quarters.


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