Hanoi was running short of clean water, the two water companies serving the capital warned at a recent meeting last week.
|An engineer from the Hanoi Water Limited Company performs maintenance work. Statistics produced by the company show that the city lacks about 25,000 cubic metres of water a day.|
They said that unless solutions were found, several urban areas could face more serious shortages.
"Underground water (which provides 70 per cent of the city's water) has been declining while the number of customers is still increasing," said Nguyen Bao Vinh, director of the MTV Hanoi Clean Water Co., Ltd.
The company is in charge of providing clean water to nine districts, including those in the central parts of the city, including Ba Dinh, Hoan Kiem and Hai Ba Trung.
Statistics produced by the MTV company show that the city lacks about 25,000 cubic metres of water a day, especially during peak hours when demand soars.
Vinh forecast that many areas in Hoang Mai, Dong Da and Cau Giay Districts would experience severe water shortages next year.
The other water provider, the Water Investment, Construction and Commercial JSC., Co. (Viwaco) provides about 200,000 cubic metres a day to residents in Thanh Xuan, Nam Tu Liem and Bac Tu Liem Districts and a parts of Cau Giay and Hoang Mai Districts.
The company's water mostly comes from the Da River and is treated at a water filtration plant to make it fit for human consumption.
"Currently, the river system can provide a maximum of 260,000 cubic metres of water a day," said Nguyen Anh Viet, director of the Viwaco.
One of the top ways of reducing water shortages was to reduce the rate of water theft, which was currently as high as 23 per cent of total consumption, said vice-chairman of Hanoi Peoples Committee, Nguyen Quoc Hung.
Both providers were asked to carefully inspect their systems to bring down the loss rate.
Water loss in Hanoi is also the term used to describe many situations where users refuse to pay their bills.
Hung called for the urgent completion of a second Da River pipeline capable of providing an extra 270,000 cubic metres of water a day.
The Department of Planning and Investment is also expected to submit plans for a second plant to treat the river water to the municipal People's Committee this month. The estimated cost of the project is VND4.8 trillion (US$231 million).