Dutch water companies signed a Partnership Agreement with water companies in the Hau Giang, Soc Trang and Can Tho, in the South Western Mekong Delta on 23 January.

The agreement is part of a Dutch WaterworX project - managed by VEI - to support the Vietnamese water companies in the river delta to maintain their future water supply in the view of upcoming climate change challenges. Can Tho has two companies that will join the project’s first phase, while Hau Giang and Soc Trang also have one each.

dws-vei-waterworx-mekong-treatment-280pxWater supply in the Mekong Delta is currently at a good level but soil subsidence threatens the fresh water resources that are currently used by the water companies.

Upgrading supply schemes
Although coverage and service levels are relatively good in Vietnam, serious challenges low lying river delta, including land subsidence, saline intrusion, reduced availability of groundwater and pollution of surface water pose heavy risks on the future water supply.

A regional approach for upgrading, expansion and modification of supply schemes is necessary. The current institutional and legislative landscape is fragmented and not furnished to effectively cope with those upcoming climate challenges.

Enhance operational capacity
According to Folkert de Jager (fourth from the right on top photo) of VEI, the WaterworX project will help enhance the operational capacity of water supply firms, focusing on reducing revenue losses, as well as improving water quality and saving power.

Also part of the project is the coordination to build resilient future plans. In the second and third phases, the project may expand the collaboration with other water firms in the Mekong Delta facing similar problems, such as Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, and Kien Giang.

De Jager: "Hopefully, the project will contribute to promoting economic growth in the Mekong Delta region, where water plays a significant role in local agriculture."

The intention for phase two and three of the WaterworX programme, which runs until 2030, is to scale up the project to the entire South Western Mekong Delta, improving water supply for 10 million people.

dws-vei-waterworx-mekong-delta-nairobi-350pxWaterworX also conducts projects in Africa, such as here seen in Nairobi where pre-paid water meters are introduced.

About WaterworX
WaterworX is a public-private collaboration (2017-2030) between ten Dutch water companies and the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs to increase sustainable access to drinking water to 10 million people in 2030 in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

In the case of the Mekong Delta, the project covers a large area, with a total of about 10 million inhabitants for who the water supply can potentially be improved.

The Mekong Delta projects also addresses the sustainability of the water supply, aiming to adjustment of the water company’s operations to the effects of climate change, in this case soil subsidence. Without adjustments the water companies are expected to run out of business in about 30 years.

WaterworX is preparing substantial financial investments. Involving the World Bank and the Vietnamese government. Both have acknowledged that the partnership can contribute to an effective absorption of such investments in the Vietnamese water supply companies.

This news item was originally published on the website of VEI.

(Photos: VEI)

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Expertise: Water for all
Country: Vietnam

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