VietNamNet Bridge – Da Nang, which estimates the lack of one billion cubic meters of water due to the hydropower plants, has raised the water price and prepared for a lawsuit against the government agency.
The Da Nang City People’s Committee has decided to raise running water price by 10 percent since February 2014 to offset the higher expenses on water supply.
Since the hydropower plants block the water stream, switch the water flow from Vu Gia River to Thu Bon River, the lowland has been suffering the water shortage and saltwater intrusion. This has forced the city’s water supply company to pay higher for the water pumping and treatment.
Prior to that, the Da Nang City People’s Committee sent a document to the government office and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE), making suggestions to the ministry’s draft on the procedures to operate the hydropower reservoirs of A Vuong, Dak Mi 4 and Song Tranh 2.
The city’s authorities have requested the government and relevant ministries to intervene to force Dak Mi 4 to increase the volume of water to be discharged to the Vu Gia River in order to ease the drought in the lowland.
The water in the Vu Gia River’s lowland has got salty after Tet (in early February). The Da Nang Water Supply Company has to prepare to run the An Trach Water Pumping Station, standby for the Cau Do 8 Station.
According to Nguyen Truong Anh, Director of the Da Nang Water Supply Company, said that the water shortage has become more serious in recent years because the water is taken to serve the hydropower plants in the upper course.
The Dak Mi 4 hydropower plant, for example, has blocked the stream and driven the water flow to the Thu Bon River. As a result, the water on the Cau Do River in Da Nang now has the salinity higher than the allowed level.
In 2013, when the salinity came soon in early January, Da Nang City had to spend VND12 billion to run the An Trach water pump station. Anh said that it is necessary to raise the running water price to cover the higher costs on fighting the salinity intrusion.
The decision by the Da Nang City authorities on the water price increase has raised the anger among the public. Local households and businesses all have raised protests against the price increase, saying that the water price increase would lead to the higher production costs, thus making their products uncompetitive in the domestic and world markets.
Huynh Van Thang, Deputy Director of the Da Nang City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, while blaming the water shortage on the hydropower plants, said the city authorities are going to raise a lawsuit against the MONRE for the unreasonable planning of the reservoirs’ operation, which has led to the drought in the river lowland.
In the latest news, Deputy Minister of MONRE Tran Hong Ha has affirmed that the ministry is willing to discuss with Da Nang City and involved parties on the reservoir operation procedures. Therefore, he does not think Da Nang would sue MONRE.