A mangrove forest in Long An (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Le Cong Thanh has underlined the need to focus on the planning and investigation of water resources across the country, especially in the Mekong Delta region.

Speaking at a recent meeting in Hanoi, the official proposed amending and supplementing the Law on Water Resources from 2020 in order to improve the management of sustainable exploitation and use of water resources.

Hoang Van Bay, head of the Department of Water Resources Management, said his department has prioritised the inspection of the operation of reservoirs, the planning of basic investigation of water resources nationwide, the building of a surface and underground water monitoring and managing system, and the listing of cross-border and inter-provincial water resources.

In 2019, the department will review the implementation of the Law on Water Resources in 2012 in preparation for the programme on building, amending, and supplementing the Law on Water Resources from 2020, while setting forth technical regulations in the sector.

Nguyen Xuan Truong, head of the Department of Planning and Finance under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said it needs to put into consideration a number of tasks and sectors, especially those regarding the amendment and supplementation of the 2012 Law on Water Resources.

Another task is to detail the items of planning schemes relating to rivers and budget, he added.

The Vietnam National Mekong River Commission (VNMRC) will begin to perform its functions and tasks as a commission for the Mekong, Sesan, and Srepok river basins in 2019, according to Le DucTrung, chief of the VNMRC office.

The commission will also investigate, collect, and update data on water resource exploitation and use it to make plans to improve the environment in the Mekong River Basin and the socio-economic conditions of the Mekong Delta.

At the same time, it will continue to coordinate with member countries of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to realise the joint statement on providing consultations for the Pak Beng hydropower project and offer consultations to the Pak Lay hydropower project of Laos.

The commission will join hands with the MRC to propose joint studies on the basis of outcomes of the research on sustainable management of the Mekong River Basin, including the impacts of mainstream hydroelectricity plants, he said. –VNA