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Smart water management helps promote sustainable development

Experts shared information on smart water management policies and technologies for sustainable development during a workshop in Hanoi on August 8.

President of the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association (VWSA) Cao Lai Quang said Vietnam is facing a number of challenges in this field such as urban population growth, limited budget, poor management capacity, water pollution, climate change impacts, including droughts, floods, and saltwater intrusion.

Given these difficulties, the country is focusing on policies reforms to attract more investment in new science and technology, he said, adding that some leading businesses have applied many smart water management solutions to catch up with the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).

He stressed the necessity to promote the adoption of such solutions in order to secure sustainable development.

Head of the Ministry of Construction’s Department of Technology Infrastructure Mai Thi Lien Huong said the country has over 500 urban water supply systems with a total capacity of 8.7 million cubic metres per day. Seventy percent of which are able to supply water around-the-clock while the remaining could provide water for 8-20 hours per day. Notably, the rate of water loss in Vietnam remains high, averagely at 22.5 percent.

It requires a large amount of investment in water supply and drainage, she said, referring to the limited budget in the field.

To address the financial problem, Paul Smith, director of international cooperation from the Australia Water Association, said partners in the private sector could bring improvements to the water sector.

He shared that governments in many countries have adopted the public-private partnership (PPP) model over the past 20 years as it can save financial resources and promote effective provision of services.

Each country will select the most suitable model according to their situation but with the common goal of sustainable development, he said.

The workshop was held by the UBM Asia Limited under the chair of VWSA as part of the activities in the Vietnam's International Water Supply, Sanitation, Water Resources, and Purification Event (Vietwater 2018) to be held in Ho Chi Minh City from September 7-9 with the participation of 500 businesses from 41 countries and territories.

The event created a good chance for enterprises to seek partners and introduce their latest products and technologies in the water industry.