A national meeting to mark World Water Day 2011 was held in Phan Rang city in the central province of Ninh Thuan on March 22, raising people’s awareness of water resources and water saving.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Thai Lai stressed the importance of water, saying Vietnam was not a rich country in terms of water and faces future water shortages.

Vietnam is home to about 755 urban areas with a population of nearly 26 million, accounting for 30 percent of the country’s population. Water supply for cities nationwide, including water for production, business and services, is estimated at about 8 million cu.m. a day.

After the meeting, the ministry and the Ninh Thuan provincial People’s Committee organised a march to call on all walks of life to respond to World Water Day 2011.

World Water Day 2011 focuses international attention on the impact of rapid urban population growth, industrialisation and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems.

Through the event, governments, organisations, communities and individuals are encouraged to actively engage in addressing the difficulties of urban water management./.