ASSESSING THE ASSIMILATIVE CAPACITY OF RIVER FOR DECISION SUPPORT ON WATER RESOURCES PROTECTIO
10:53 - 19/03/2018
The causes are uncontrollabilities to urbanization, economic and social development, population growth and increasing water demands that leads to the huge volume of waste water discharging directly to the environment (môi trường đã là chung nhất bao gồm cả nguồn nước rồi) especially to water sources. Untreated wastewater discharged into rivers and streams will seriously damage
CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystem (WLE)
MK33 PROJECT: CAPACITY BUILDING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF WATER GOVERNANCE AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PRACTITIONERS IN THE RED RIVER BASIN
ASSESSING THE ASSIMILATIVE CAPACITY OF RIVER FOR DECISION SUPPORT ON WATER RESOURCES PROTECTION
Fellow: Trinh Thi Thu Van
Mentor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bui Cong Quang
Hanoi, 25 September 2016
ASSESSING THE ASSIMILATIVE CAPACITY OF RIVER FOR DECISION SUPPORT ON WATER RESOURCES PROTECTION
Case study: Thuong river in Bac Giang province
- 1. Introduction
The context of wastewater and water pollution of Vietnam
Vietnam has more than 2,360 rivers and streams longer than 10km, and thousands of lakes and ponds. The water sources are habitat and living resources of the fauna, flora and millions of people. However, these water resources are being degraded and destroyed by over exploitation and pollution to varying degrees. Even many rivers, river sections, lakes and ponds are "dead".
The causes are uncontrollabilities to urbanization, economic and social development, population growth and increasing water demands that leads to the huge volume of waste water discharging directly to the environment (môi trường đã là chung nhất bao gồm cả nguồn nước rồi) especially to water sources. Untreated wastewater discharged into rivers and streams will seriously damage the environment, adversely affect to aquatic life, livelihood and human health.
According to a survey of the Center for National Environmental Monitoring (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment), the status of surface water quality is seriously degraded in many places.
The North has a large population (especially the Red River Delta). A large amount of untreated urban waste water from cities is discharged directly into canals and rivers . In addition, a large amount of waste water from industries and craft villages is also a great pressure on the water environment.
In the Southern (especially in the Southeast region), surface water pollution is mainly caused by the industrial and domestic wastewater. River system in the Mekong Delta receives the largest amount of agricultural wastewater in the country (70% fertilizer is absorbed by plants and soil, rest of 30% goes into the streams ). So in this area, organic pollution is significant.
Thus, it can be seen that water pollution in Vietnam is increasing at alarming level , and is becoming a great pressure to the country .
According to the Department of Water Resources Management (MONRE), the causes of uncontrollable waste water discharge is due to the insufficient facilities, while quantity of waste water is too much; the water treatment systems are dispersed poor capacities/ Most of urban areas t do not have waste water treatment systems.
Many urban and residential areas have no a maste plan for sewage system consistent with the social economic plans so there is no space for constructing d wastewater treatment systems. Besides, the investment in the construction and operation of wastewater treatment systems spend a lot of money ; Community awareness to the law is low, while violation sanction is not strictly implemented or related to social issues..
- The wastewater and water pollution management policy in Vietnam
Vietnam's government has currently enacted legislation to strengthen water pollution control, such as the Law on Water Resources (2012), the Law on Environmental Protection (2014), the Decree on the Regulation detailing of some articles of the Law on water resources (2013), Circular on Regulation to assess the assimilative capacity of rivers (2009), National technical regulation on surface water quality (2015) and and other related legislations.
The Law on Environmental Protection (2014) contains provisions to protect the environment such as: Regulations of prohibited acts (Article 7 - Chapter 1), including the "prohibit to discharge untreated waste water into the water sources"; The State policies on environmental protection (Article 5 - Chapter 1) as strengthening propaganda and education, science and technology development, preferential financing, expanding international cooperation, create favorable conditions for organizations and individuals, households participating in the environmental protection; supervising the implementation of environmental protection activities in accordance with law; Regulation on waste management (Chapter IX); Regulation of the responsibilities of the State management agency on environmental protection, environmental protection power (Chapter IX); Provisions on inspection, and handling of violations, settlement of disputes, complaints and denunciations on the environment (Chapter XVIII).
Law on Water Resources (2012) contains provisions on Water resources protection (Chapter III), including: Article 37 regulates “wastewater discharge into water sources must be granted discharge license by the competent authorities (except the organizations and individuals discharge small waste water amount and do not contain harmful chemicals)”; Article 38 regulates "Rights and obligations of organizations and individuals who were granted licensed to discharge waste water into water sources": must ensure wastewater treatment standards before discharging into water sources; monitoring wastewater quality and quantity regularly; must pay compensation if discharge unlawfully waste water and perform some other obligations prescribed by law.
Circular 02/2009 / TT-BTNMT signed on 19/3/2009 of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment regulates the common principles and procedures, evaluation methods the assimilative capacity of river. Application objects are water resource management agencies, organizations and individuals that discharge waste water into water sources, consulting agencies.
The National technical regulation on surface water quality for domestic, agriculture and industry purposes. If wastewater quality does not meet the national standards, it is considered that violation of the regulation happens.
2.2. Law enforcement of the State management agency
In Vietnam, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) has the task of performing the function of the inspection and monitoring water environment, of which 2 primarily responsible units are Vietnam Emvironment Administration (VEA) and Department of Water Resource Management (DWRM).
In recent times, the MoNRE has strengthened the inspection and monitoring, focus on the industrial clusters and the production facilities. The Ministry also collaborates with the Environmental Police to detect, publicize and handle violations, enhance automatically monitoring and mobilize the participation of local communities and
For the new and current industrial parks, authorities control strictly, prohibits operation if its wastewater treatment systems do not work.
In addition, MoNRE also identifying the water river quality targets, and forming the river basin organizations to coordinate and supervise the water protection activities in whole river basins.
Along with that, MoNRE will revise provisions of sanction towards increased levels to ensure that the sanctions are strong enough, to prevent the water pollution status
- The wastewater and water pollution management policy in Bac Giang province
Thuong River belongs to Red river system, flows through Bac Giang province, is the main source of water for almost purposes of Bac Giang such as domestic, agriculture and industry. According to reports on Planning allocation and protection of water resources in Bac Giang province, there are 440 water exploitation works and 946 facilities discharge wastewater into Thuong River.
As the plan to 2025, Bac Giang will develop the urban area, industry and service - the sectors with a high proportion of water use. Therefore, the wastewater is also increasing and affect to water quality of Thuong river.
Coping with a complecated increase of the environmental pollution, Bac Giang provincial Government issued: the Directive on strengthening the environmental protection and management, Planning of environmental monitoring networks, Design of environmental monitoring plan, Plan of water resources allocation and protection.
Besides, the management and monitoring activities also are deploped as: Identifying environmental protection is the responsibility of entire political system. These activities must be paid attention in the socio-economic development; The environmental protection work must be implemented from the planning stages until project approval; Proactively preventing and minimizing impacts on the environment; Monitoring, inspecting regularly the business facilities for the observance of the Law on environmental protection, strictly handle violations. The organizations and individuals discharge waste to environmental must allocate budget for wastewater treatment, and pay all adequate environmental protection fees as prescribed.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Bac Giang province is also strengthening the state management capacity on environmental protection and gradually concretizing mechanisms and policies on environmental protection in the province.
- Asssessing the implementation of policies on management and supervision of waste water discharge into water sources and water resources protection
The environmental inspection and supervision activities have been implemented ed more often than before. The handling of violations of wastewater discharge facilities is more efficiently and progressively effective in preventing the recurrence of violations.
The quantity and quality of environmental officers from provincial to National level is gradually improved.
The policy and legislation system are gradually strengthened and they are having the positive effects, contributing significantly to the state environment management
It can seen that the Law on Environment Protection, the Law on Water Resources and other policies to protect water resources have been enacted and implemented from the provincial to National level for many years, but water pollution problems still tend increasingly aggravated.
- In terms of policy:
The Laws are a frame with the nature-oriented articls and clauses, while water pollution treatment needs the specific measures, which require stronger sanctions as well as huge financial resources.
Articles related to water pollution control scatter in the Laws and are difficult to enforcement. Some policies are inconsistent with the actual situation. The Legal mechanisms for solving the environmental pollution in craft villages and polluted areas are not appropriate. Budget for environmental protection activities is limited.
- In terms of the State management:
The water pollution control is overlapping because there are a lot of Ministries involved, such as the Ministry of Construction is responsible for urban water supply and drainage; MonRE has the State manage on water resource; The Ministry of Health’s responsibility is to issue the national water quality standards for domestic water uses;, The Ministry of Industry and Trade manages the production facilities that also are the sources of waste water discharge.
The inspection to enterprises is overlaped by the Environmental police and the environmental authorities at all levels, resulting in inconvenience to the enterprises.
The structure of state management agencies on environment at all levels is not complete. The technical staff of the agencies are insufficient and their working capacity is weak , . Equipment is poor in both quantity and quality that do not meet the technical requirements.
- In terms of participation of the community::
Awareness of people is weak, especially in rural areas and mountainous areas.
People lack of information, lack of understanding of the negative effects on the environment caused by the discharge of wastewater.
In addition, there are many facilities and enterprises that want to have immediate high benefits then still discharge wastewater which does not meet the national standards into the environment .
- 5. Policy proposals
Policy 1: Raising the awareness of people and community involvement
The Government should enact policies to raise awareness for people to help them understand knowledges on the environment and environmental protection, policies to promote community participation in environmental protection, to have serious sanctions to any violations. It is required to develop a reasonable schedule and financial investments as well as to increase the efficiency of communication.
Policy 2: Improving the State management effectiveness and efficiency to the wastewater discharge activities into water sources".
- Strengthening capacity for the state management staff.
+ Recruitment: people who have expertise, good qualifications, high responsibility good ethics and experience should be mobilized.
+ Capacity building: regular training and retraining for the staff should be implemented to enhance their capability to ensure effective implementation of the functions assigned. An appropriate training schedule should be developed; Evaluation to the training eficiency is based on positive changes of their work.
+ It is required to built a good staffs who have good nature and knowledge regarding the legal issues to solve specific actual situations for controlling activities of discharging waste water into water sources.
+ Regular training on implemention of the Environmental Protection Law and other legal documents related to the Law implementation for local authorities and enterprises; promoting the environmental communication under various forms step by step to raise awareness of the community levels about environmental protection.
- Completing organizational structure for environmental protection from the local to National levels.
Specialized inspection functions for the Departments of Environmental Protection should be amended. Financial mechansim for, the environmental management at district and commune levels should be revised to meet the management requirements.
- Developing tools to support the management of waste water discharge into water sources.
Enacting a new Circular to guide assessment of the assimilative capacity of river by mathematical models instead of Circular 2009 (calculated by using outdated formulae ).
- Tightening the inspection and management of wastewater discharge activities; Licensing discharge permits for localities at all levels from commune, district, city, province.
- Promoting the participation of the communities in the contaminated region to monitor and timely identify the facilities causing water pollution
- Implementing strong sanctions.
Policy 3: Policy on "Strengthening investigation and monitoring wastewater discharge activities.
All facilities are requied to install monitoring systems to supervise load and quality of wastewater
- Policy statement made by stakeholders
The Government should direct the Ministries, agencies and the media across the country to implement awareness improvement program for the government staff and communities.
The Ministry of Training & Education should integrate e the knowledge of environmental protection into the training and educational curricula. c.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment should implement: (i) Capacity building program for staff of the MoNRE; (ii) Organization of training programs for officials at provincial, district and commune on the enforcement of legal documents as well as technical knowledge; (iii) Provision of technical tools to support decision making on environtment management and protection; (iv) Inspection of the law enforcement to wastewater discharge facilities.
- Circular 02/2009/TT-BTNMT Regulate the assessment of assimilative capacity of river.
- Decree on the Regulation detailing of some articles of the Law on water resources (2013).
- Law on water resources (2012).
- Law on Environment protection (2014).
- National technical regulation on surface water quality (2015).
- Report on Environmental Status of Bac Giang province in the period of 2011 - 2015.