Rampant underground water usage blamed for HCM City subsidence
  • | | June 17, 2019 11:35 AM
HCM City has called on residents to stop using underground water and seal the wells due to serious subsidence in the city.


HCM City calls on residents to seal up wells

Saigon Water Corporation (Sawaco) and the localities in Binh Thanh District have co-operated together to call on residents and organisations to stop using underground water and close their wells.

According to Ho Phuong, vice chairman of Binh Thanh District, HCM City has about 100,000 wells of different sizes and depths. Statistics from 2017 show that 680,000 cubic metres of water were exploited on a daily basis.

HCM City has one of the fastest subsidence rates of 40 mm per year, some places in the city have a subsidence rate of 67mm a year. Underground water exploitation is one of the reasons blamed for the decline of the water source and other consequences such as subsidence and flooding vulnerability.

Untreated well water can cause many illnesses including skin allergies and intestinal infections.

Warnings over subsidence in the city were raised 10 years ago when up to one million cubic metres of underground water was exploited each day.

In late March 2018, Tran Vinh Tuyen, vice chairman of HCM City People's Committee issued a decision to reduce the use of underground water and prepare plans to seal up the wells. The goal was to reduce the daily use of underground water to 487,000 cubic metres by late 2018 and 310,000 cubic metres in 2019. However, the plan proved to be ineffective.

Saigon Water Corporation (Sawaco) and the localities in Binh Thanh District have used leaflets to raise public awareness and are planning to seal all the wells in the district this year.

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