Hanoi's water supply forecast to run dry during hot summer

By Vo Hai   May 16, 2017 | 12:00 am GMT+7
Hanoi's water supply forecast to run dry during hot summer
Hanoi officials have asked water supply units to prepare water trucks in case of pipeline ruptures in the coming summer days. Photo by VnExpress

Officials say the current system is likely to spring a leak as temperatures and demand rise over the summer.

Hanoi’s construction department has warned that taps may well run dry as demand increases over the hot summer.

Leaders from the department said it will be “hard” to deliver enough tap water to the districts of Ba Dinh, Dong Da, Hoan Kiem and Tay Ho this summer.

Water plants in the city are designed to pump around 900,000 cubic meters of water a day, but demand during summer usually increases 10-12 percent to more than one million cubic meters.

Authorities also expressed concerns that the situation could become much worse if the notorious Song Da pipeline ruptures again.

The Song Da pipe provides more than 200,000 cubic meters a day, accounting for nearly a quarter of the clean water supply in the city, which is home to 7.6 million people.

But the pipeline, which cost $70 million to install, has broken at least 20 times since it opened in 2009, most recently in October last year.

Water suppliers have been asked to prepare water trucks and tanks in populated areas to prepare for the problem.

Vinaconex, the state-owned construction company responsible for the pipeline, has been criticized for using substandard pipes purchased from a Chinese contractor. A police investigation showed 13 executives at the company had violated construction and investment regulations. Criminal charges were later dropped against five of them because they were first-time offenders with good personal records. The rest are awaiting trial.

The company signed a contract to use pipes from another Chinese company to fix the unreliable system but backed out of the deal in August last year after the government raised concerns over quality standards.

Work on a second pipeline started in October 2015, but little has been done and no completion date has been set.