Conflicts over water resources exist in Vietnam as in many parts of the world where a large population have to share scarce water resources. To tackle these issues, GWP Vietnam organized a workshop on 29th November 2011, in Hanoi, to discuss solutions through and integrated approach to Food-Water-Energy Security.
Workshop participants concluded that the pressures on water resources are putting a higher emphasis on the need for action, but Vietnam does not have a legal framework for resolving conflicts. It was suggested that experts who work internationally take advantage of international cooperation to collect data about river basins which originate from China to supplement national water resources data.
The following issues on conflict resolution were raised:
- Water conflicts in Vietnam have not been addressed methodically. Although River Basin Organizations have been established, they have no role in conflict resolution.
- Water governance is dispersed which leads to water resources management inefficiency. In addition, the agency responsible for water management has limited human resources. There needs to be a review to establish a more effective water resources governance agency.
- Hydropower development is a potential for conflict. To ensure economic growth, the government is giving priority to generate electricity rather than supporting other water use sectors.
- Planning for multi-purpose reservoir development is not given proper attention. At present, planning for reservoir development is designated mainly for electric utilities for power generation.
- The flow regime has been changing recently and the water input is unpredictable which complicates reservoir operations.