Prepared by : Mme Do Hong Phan Chief Advisor , V ietnam W ater P artnership And Mme Nguyen Thi Phuong Lam Deputy Director, Centre for Promotion of IWRM(CIWAREM)
The concept of IWRM was introduced in Vietnam since 1998 with the first Workshop funded by GWP on “IWRM and GWP”
In 2005: under the support of UNEP, Vietnam undertook “Evaluation of the 5 years implementation of IWRM” implemented by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE)
In 2008: with the assistance of ADB for comprehensive overview of “ Vietnam Water Sector Review ” implemented by MoNRE in coordination with related ministries
Overview evaluation of the status of
Water Sector Development
Irrigation : irrigated agriculture have been strongly developed in late 20 th century. Recently, almost large deltas have been irrigated, remaining small valleys and minor irrigation.
Hydropower : has been strongly developed over 20 years. At presently, about 30% of hydropower potential have been exploited. Relative proportion of hydropower to electricity: 51% in 2002 down to 42% in 2005 and 37% in 2008.
Flood control and natural disaster : It has been undertaken with large participation. Vietnam is one of the countries with significant experiences on flood control
Water resources management : Vietnam is in transition period from water resources exploitation and use to water resources management. It requires an unprejudiced management manner.
Vietnam has responded promptly to these requirements and most obvious are the institutional, legal and policy aspects
Over past 10 years, IWRM awareness and knowledge have been improved rapidly. Due to the impact of development, especially the massive development of hydropower resulting in depletion of water resources, rivers strain, environmental degradation, watershed transformation, locals damage. But awareness is not matching the requirements
Law on Water resources 1998 and the revision :
Law on WR 1998 : establishment of function of water resources management, some points matched with IWRM. The Law reflected the perception and reality at the time ( flood control, irrigation). New perceptions are reflected gradually in – law documents (in the Strategies) and now should be included in the revised law.
After the Law on WR issued, several laws or ordinances related to water resources have been enforced, such as Law on Environmental protection (2005), Law on Land (2003), Navigation Law, Law on fishery and aquaculture, Law on dike and flood control, Law on Electricity….Therefore, the law on WR needs to be revised in order to be united among legal documents.
General shortcomings: the Law has been executed step by step but the practicality is still low and not realistic; awareness of law enforcement is not high .
The Law revision followed with IWRM approach
Revision of law on WR: clearly separating the WR management function from WR exploitation and use
Subjects for regulation: river (water and its body), coastal waters, river basin, reservoir/lake, water service, civil society and water use community.
Policies related : water utilization, water allocation, water financing, economic tools applied in WR management;
Institutional related : WR management function; WR and environment; WR management system (National WR Council, ministerial , provincial levels and river basin level); international river cooperation; capacity development; civil society and community..
WR management: river basin planning for management, balanced benefit between economic – social – environment, upstream – downstream benefit, surface water – groundwater, water exploitation and water protection, ecological system, water resources and related resources, water resources – sanitation, new development – and effective operation; climate change.
Water rights: water exploitation and use ; discharge wastewater
Water protection : include water quantity, quality, flow regime and aquatic environment
Policy on water exploitation and uses (con’t) :
In the Law on WR: all organization and individual have the right of water exploitation and use;
In the WR strategy: abolishing subsidies, socialization of water service
In the urban water supply orientation and Rural water supply strategy: making efforts to apply principle of Dublin 4
Implmentation of water policies:
Urban water supply: renewable water price (progressive) and water service arrangement.
Irrigation water fee: abolished - not match with Dublin 4 principle
Water servive providers: financial autonomy under social policy
International river cooperation
Water security: Mekong delta is concerned about change of river flow , decrease of sediment and fishery, fluctuation of water level due to hydropower development on the mainstreams
Mekong cooperation: first summit meeting with Primer Minister level (Hua Hin, April/2010)
Investment policies :
State budgets are the main sources of funding for WR management and development including basic survey, domestic water supply, priority is given to difficult areas and organization/individual funding for water resources development … The Gov applies the multi- donors investment for poor areas, rural water supply, wastewater treatment
Implementation of the policies :
Funding for WR management and protection are increasing but far from the requirement. In 2006, allocation of 1% of annual budget for environment management including water quality, survey, planning, training…
Although the Gov encourage private investment for water resources development but in reality, the Gov still provide budgets to the infrastructures of hydropower, water supply (loan)
Investment for urban sewerage is far from requirement and very low in comparison with water supply investment
Water exploitation and use; very few treatment of polluted water by polluters
Few investment for treatment of polluted water - restoration for degradated groundwater sources needed to be studied
Method of raising capital: from budgets and ODA; encourage raising capital from commercial loans and equity sources
STRENGTHENING OF WATER SECTOR INSTITUTIONS
Strengthening of water sector institutions :
Have a critical step : the function and organization of water resources management are separated from the function and organization of water exploitation and use. (MoNRE and MARD)
Strengthen existing institutions:
System of Water resources management at all levels :National level (MoNRE), provincial level (WRM Unit - DoNRE), community level ( Water user Association, women union, youth union, farmer union..) – river basin level: to be improved
National Water Council: enhance the effectiveness through the mechanisms and participation of partners
Coordination among sectors. Not good enough (overlaps, gaps)
Human resources and education training:
Big gap between governance status and human resources requirement.
The knowledge of IWRM: to be strong ly improved.
Civil society is playing important role in public education, studying, advising policy, strategy
Water resources research and information : WRA and profile (2003); Content of river basin planning (2008); Water Sector Review (2008); Minimum flow (2008)----but difficult implementation in reality
River basin management
Law on WR 1998: not set the tasks of river basin management
Decree 120/2008: RBM has been set up, content and principles are clear, they are under consideration to specify the mechanisms.
River basin planning as the main tool to manage river basin. The content of RBP is clear but the implementation arrangement is efficient?
River basin defined as the best unit with harmonious managing water resources – environment – exploitation & use; balance benefits – responsibilities of different stakeholders (monitoring / management – exploitation – utilization/ impacts.
RBM is the a strategic turning point for managing water resources .
Water Resources Strategy
Water resources Strategy (2006) was the first to cover water resources in a comprehensive way, all matters of challenges, viewpoints, objectives, principles, solutions to fit with IWRM approach.
Other sectors related to water exploitation and use have long term development plan; omong them the sector of rural water supply and sanitation also has startegy approved by the Government.
All priority programs proposed in the strategy are undertaken separately. The significant point of inter-sectors in the Strategy was weak.
Main water issues in the Strategy
The strategy sets out several objectives on water resources: restoration of degradation of water sources, minimum flow, discharge of wastewater into water sources, water exploitation not over threshold, water sharing, minimizing harmful effects caused by water, groundwater recharges, dam safety..
New water resources factors need to be considered in practical way: water resources – sanitation in respect of human health; water resources with climate change adaptation; water resources and other related natural resources, watershed management, territory water; aquatic ecosystem protection..
Burning issues, hot spots and challenges
Over 10 years Vietnam adopts IWRM approach, starting from technical and social circles extending to economic and policy and political circles. All the documents gradually express officially in accordance with the contents and principles of IWRM but still poor in reality. Institutions and mechanism need to be improved .
Main issues and challenges
Strengthening of water resources management : poor mechanism and
management capacity; overcoming fragmentation in water sector.
Sustainable development of water resources: Vietnam has long experiences of water resources development; nowadays facing to pressures of population and increasing water demands. Needs of river or aquifers or fundamental health of water sources are not paid attention in new projects.
Effective protection of river basin water resources: Concept of water as an integral part of an ecosystem was not mentioned in the law on WR 1998, but many water legal documents issued during past decade have been recognized and raised in the Amended Law on WR
Effective and efficient uses of water resources : Users pay principles are applied (but irrigation fee?). Sewerage and water pollution treatment need to apply the principle of polluters pay. Sanitation need more sector coordination at national level.
Improvement of water public information and communication: Recently, civil society have contributed positively to water policy formulation and training, dialogs.
Enlargement of stakeholder participation: National legislation has specified key players and its roles; institutional and mechanism to support their roles
Critical hot spot areas related to Water security
River basin management and adaptation to climate change: there are urgent needs of review and updating of river basin plans and strengthening of river basin management
In context of climate change , special plans are elaborated for new agricultural technique and protection actions dealing with various aspects of water disasters including extreme drought and severe flooding are to be effectively implemented at river basin level
Trans-boundary water management : as downstream country, Vietnam has great concerns of negative impacts from upstream development.
MRC has great contribution to regional cooperation and should be strengthenned in context of regional integratio n.
Most serious demands for investment and change of governance
State budget would continue to meet most capital investment and O&M for water supply and discharge/drainage works – more national and sector interests – funds should be secured from loan and equity source ---- need to put more emphasis to sewerage, pollution treatment and sanitation management; more emphasis on the responsibility of investor; support for remote and poor areas .
In climate change condition: focus on developing community’s resilience and apply no-regret investment approach.
The way forward
In the IWRM process, getting laws policies and strategies formulated is only preliminary outcome. Vietnam is facing with major challenges in implementating and improving these, which need strong political will and continuing efforts of all stakeholders.