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Vietnam eyes better management amid concerns about water shortage

HANOI, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's water demand is likely to reach about 122 billion cubic meters each year from 2030, about 1.5 times higher than the current amount, leading to potential risk of severe water shortage without effective management of the resource, local media reported Thursday.

The country is currently exploiting about 84 billion cubic meters of water each year, including 3.8 billion cubic meters of underground and 80.6 billion cubic meters of surface water, the Vietnam News reported, citing an official.

The peak water consumption time is in the dry season from July to September when over 80 percent of water is used for agricultural activities, said Nguyen Minh Khuyen, deputy director of the Department of Water Resources Management under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Some localities have still faced difficulties in accessing clean and safe water, especially those in central and south-central provinces and cities, he said.

It is forecast that 11 out of the 16 major river basins in Vietnam will experience water stress, especially in the four main river basins from which 80 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) is generated, he said.

Currently, the ministry is working on four key policies of ensuring water source security, socializing the water sector, promoting the water economy, protecting water resources and preventing harm caused by water, he said.