Da Nang and Quang Nam officials sign the agreement on December 21 (Photo: nhandan.com.vn)

Da Nang (VNA) – After years of discussions and negotiations, the central city of Da Nang city and its neighbouring Quang Nam province on December 21 inked an agreement on integrated management of the Vu Gia-Thu Bon river basin and Quang Nam-Da Nang coastline.

Vice Chairman of the Quang Nam provincial People’s Committee Le Tri Thanh said the co-management agreement ensures mutual benefit that harmonises water resources with sustainable development.

He said the agreement was made by the two localities with support from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCM) and the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International (ISET-International.

Thanh said the partners will set up a Quang Nam-Da Nang joint committee that involves experts and managers on “Integrated watershed and coastal management – from ridge to reef approach in the river basin.

As scheduled, the river’s observation system will be installed under the cost of the two localities’ budget.

The river basin, which has more than 10,300sq.km with water volume of 20.22 billion cu.m and covers a total length of 225 km in Quang Nam and Da Nang and provinces, provides invaluable resources to the 2.5 million population of the two localities.

However, a series of problems – including illegal destruction of riverhead forests, over-exploitation of mineral resources, and decentralised management of rivers and faulty development of hydropower plants – have threatened to destroy the river.

A total of 42 hydropower plant projects have been built in the river, while more than 820 irrigation projects with 72 reservoirs have been constructed in the river basin.

The operation of hydropower plants on upstream rivers in Quang Nam province often cause a clean water deficit during every dry season in Da Nang.-VNA