HCM City People’s Committee held a conference to call for investment into anti-flooding and wastewater treatment projects on August 9 – Dtinews
Reports from the city’s Urban Flood Control Programme showed that the city is being badly affected by the tides via the Saigon-Dong Nai-Vam Co Dong river system.
The tidal peak from 1962 to 2001 was under 1.5 metres but due to climate change, the peak surpassed 1.5 metres after 2010 and reached 1.62-1.68 metres in the past five years. More and more heavy rains have occurred while the sewer system is insufficient.
According to the general planning of HCM City’s drainage system to 2020, the city needs 6,000km of sewers to cover a 581.51-square-kilometre area but only 4,176km have been built. It also needs 12 wastewater treatment plants with total capacity to deal with over 3 million cubic metres per day. Currently, there are only Binh Hung Wastewater Treatment Plant with a capacity of 141,000 cubic metres and Tham Luong Plant with a capacity of 131,000 cubic metres.
Only 64 out of 149 kilometres of embankment along the Saigon River and one out of 10 flood sewers have been completed in accordance with irrigation planning. HCM City is in need of huge human resources for anti-flooding projects and up to VND73.41trn (USD3.11bn) of investment for 2016-2020 period.
Laurent Umans, First Secretary of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Vietnam, also raised warnings about ground depression as HCM is sinking 7cm every year and the situation is worsening. In the next 50 to 100 years, a part of the city will submerge and turn into a swamp. Careless groundwater exploitation is cited as one of the causes for the subsidence. Umans urged HCM City authorities to act immediately instead of waiting for research.
HCM City Vice Chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen admitted and deteriorating infrastructure and ill-fitted urban planning worsened the flooding. They will gather opinions on the problems. In the meantime, they will adjust the drainage planning and find more anti-flooding solutions.
Many experts at the conference have proposed solutions to the problems including building more lakes or implementing new technology to better manage wastewater.