The amendment of the Law on Water Resources will be an important milestone in water resource management in Vietnam. This was agreed by the Government by Resolution 13/NQ-CP issued in January. The Resolution indicates the necessity and objective of modification of the Law on Water Resources to tackle issues caused by current regulations on water resources; update and institutionalize new views and policies on management and protection of water resources; research, supplement, and complete policies on comprehensive and unified management, control and regulation of the state management of water resources; have a good communication plan to gain consensus.
Other problems or drawbacks related to water resources in Vietnam include:
– no definition of national water resources security in the law
– no specific regulations on fully calculating the value of water resources, leading to the miscalculation and insufficient collection of fees and loss of water
– uneven distribution of water in space and time
– adverse impacts of climate change
– deterioration and pollution of water resources
– water use conflicts
– low access to safe and clean water
– inefficient water usage
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) is the major responsible institution to carry out this task, particularly:
– to clarify the concept of “water security” and “water resources security”
– to assess the impact, perfect the policy on water resources security
– to study and inherit contents of projects related to water resources security, which are considered, decided, or approved by authorities, to ensure consistency and feasibility
– the socialization of some areas of water resources has to ensure the stability of the general welfare of the society, especially the domestic water supply infrastructure, to avoid the loss of state property.
– it needs to clear decentralization for localities to ensure uniform state management and no overlapping between ministries, to ensure uniformity of the legal system.
Sources & further information: “Thống nhất sửa đổi Luật Tài nguyên nước – Dấu mốc quan trọng trong quản lý tài nguyên nước tại Việt Nam” at https://moitruong.net.vn, “Năm 2022: Sẽ sửa Luật Đất đai và Luật Tài nguyên nước” at https://monre.gov.vn, and “Law on Water Resources should be amended to ensure water security: Expert” at https://en.vietnamplus.vn, accessed 18 February 2022.