The southern business capital needs 4,266 billion dong (US$280 million) in foreign and domestic investment to meet clean water demand by 2005, said the municipal Department of Transport and Public Works.
Nguyen Minh Triet, secretary of the city’s Party committee, said the city authorities are encouraging foreign investors and domestic private companies to jointly develop water supply and pipeline networks to overcome the water shortage of the past few years.
French, Italian and Malaysian companies have invested in building new water plants and improving dilapidated networks in the last several years. Water officials attribute the severe shortage to limited water sources, a high rate of water loss at 35.2% by late 2003, increased demand in densely populated residential areas and leakage from dilapidated pipelines.
A daily water loss of 300,000 cubic metres a day is occurring, enough for one million people and equal to losses of 500 million dong (US$31,900) a day. By the end of 2003, the department supplied 966,000 cubic metres of clean water a day, meeting just 67% of the demand.
After a two-month trial, the Sai Gon River water plant is now ready to provide 300,000 cubic metres of clean tap water to districts Tan Binh, Tan Phu and 11. Among the projects in need of funds are two main water supply plants, the second phases of the Sai Gon River water plant, and the Kenh Dong water plant, capable of supplying 200,000 cubic metres of water a day.
Upgrading existing water plants and overhauling dilapidated water pipelines are also planned. The Thu Duc water plant will increase its daily capacity by 100,000 cubic metres of water to 250,000 cubic metres of water. Water projects also include a second water-filtering network from the Thu Duc water plant to Binh Thai intersection.
To generate capital, the department has proposed that water supply, water management and water loss reduction projects receive first priority for Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds.
The department also wants to issue bonds to help improve the city’s water supply networks, create regulations on underground water exploitation, and manage water sources from Dong Nai and Sai Gon rivers.