Da Nang drills bore wells to cope with water shortage

By Nguyen Dong   August 29, 2019 | 05:30 am PT
Da Nang drills bore wells to cope with water shortage
A generator to pump water is installed at a well in Da Nang, August 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong.
Da Nang, Vietnam's third major city, is tapping its groundwater sources to deal with water scarcity in two districts.

Work began Wednesday on drilling five wells in Son Tra and Ngu Hanh Son, which have been hit hardest by water shortage for several weeks now.

Each well went to depths of around 20 meters and all five have struck water, officials said.

After the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment finishes testing the water quality of these wells, the local residents will be able to access potable water for daily needs.

For several months now, the city has been sending tankers to supply drinking water to several residential areas.

Da Nang’s water supply has been declining in recent years, as a result of forest destruction, low rainfall and the operation of hydropower plants, officials have said.

Most recently, high salinity levels in the Cau Do (Red Bridge) River, the main source of fresh water for a million residents and tourists in Da Nang, have meant that the city can meet 70 percent of its fresh water needs.

To Van Hung, director of the environment department, said Tuesday it is possible that the city will have to dig more wells in the coming days because the salinity level in the river is still high.

Ho Huong, CEO of Water Supply Joint Stock Company Da Nang, said heavy rains on Tuesday helped lower the salinity level in the river to 780 milligrams per liter but by Wednesday morning, the figure has jumped to 1,100-1,600 mg per liter, which exceeds the permitted level to get the river water for processing.

This marks the third time since April that Da Nang has run into water shortage.

The environment department said salinity in the Cau Do River rose from 2,000 mg per liter to 4,474 mg per liter between February and August, and the Cau Do water plant could not pump water from the river for its potable water supply system.

Once a sleepy fishing town, Da Nang has burgeoned to a vibrant metropolis and a formidable tourism destination, gaining a reputation for its beautiful, long beaches and upscale resorts.

It received 1.9 million foreign tourist arrivals in the first seven months of this year, up 11.2 percent year-on-year.

South Korea, mainland China, Japan and Hong Kong are the four groups of foreign visitors with the highest growth rates in the central city.

But the ongoing water shortage and increasing water pollution both inland and on the sea threaten current and future tourism potential.

In a report published in January, the World Economic Forum had listed water scarcity as one of the biggest global risks over the next decade.

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