Tuoi Tre News, 30 August 2015. It’s time for water restrictions in Vietnam by Stivi Cooke.

An edited extract of the original article appears below.

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Is it time for Vietnam to introduce water restrictions along the lines of other nations with similar problems?

I read in Tuoi Tre News one day a prediction that the heat wave and drought conditions across central Vietnam looked set to continue until September…

Vietnam’s water resources are shrinking, particularly in the central region. Crop failures and damage to waterways are already happening. The other problem has always been to bring potable water to the majority of the population – water contamination, untreated wastewater, and poor control of groundwater resources also threaten the nation…

It takes me back to distant memories of Australia, one of the driest continents on earth and the steps that nation needed to take to conserve water reserves. Australia has some of the harshest laws on water use during the summer compared to any other country. Water restrictions were introduced three decades ago for the urban areas in the south-western and eastern areas of Australia where most of our rivers flow and feed the farms and cities.

The penalties are strict. Sydney Water (the company) has imposed fines of $200 for violations of the rules for individuals, $500 for businesses, and $2,200 for water theft.

So what’s the relevance to Vietnam? I live in the central coast region where drought and infrequent rain are taking their toll on livestock and crops. For the population here the dilemma is: water for crops or power? How do you strike a balance between the two indispensable resources? Will it become a tussle with city and countryside authorities unable to agree?

 

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