Vietnam needs up to 10.2 billion USD for the development of water supply and drainage systems. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam needs up to 10.2 billion USD for the development of water supply and drainage systems to keep up with urban population growth by 2020.

According to the Ministry of Construction’s Administration of Technical Infrastructure, the country has approximately 800 urban areas, requiring 7.4 million cu.m of clean water per day, a 1.6-fold increase from a decade ago. The figure is forecast to rise to 9.6 – 10 million cu.m daily as the urban population is likely to hit 44 million people by 2020.

The Administration of Technical Infrastructure estimated that urban areas will need 3.3 billion USD to build new clean water treatment plants and renovate existing ones while another 6.9 billion USD should be invested in wastewater treatment projects in the next five years.

The capital city of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City lead the country in the tap water leakage rate, exceeding 30 percent, since their pipeline systems have become old and broken. HCM City has more than 2,000 km of water pipelines, which have been in use for over half a century. But it is short of funds to replace such a huge system as it will affect a large number of residential areas and buildings.

The Government aims to give all urban population access to at least 120 litres of clean water per day by 2020. To this end, each city or province must construct 2-3 new tap water plants with designed capacity of 100,000 cu.m per day and night each, according to the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewage Association (VWSA).

The 2-percent annual growth rate of urban population is posing the biggest challenge to the water industry, increasing the burden on the country to seek investment for clean water projects, said VWSA President Cao Lai Quang.

There has been very little involvement of private companies in such projects, he noted, adding that the government should encourage private investment from both domestic and foreign firms.

He also urged the government to adopt incentives to lure private investment into the sector and provide skilled human resources in the field.-VNA