John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

The challenges of water governance in Ho Chi Minh City

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Courtesy of John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Population growth, urbanization, pollution and climate change pose urgent water challenges in cities. In this study the sustainability of integrated water resources management in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) was evaluated using the City Blueprint approach. The City Blueprint is a set of 24 dedicated indicators divided over 8 categories, i.e., water security, water quality, drinking water, sanitation, infrastructure, climate robustness, biodiversity and attractiveness and governance including public participation. The analysis showed that the rapid increase of water use for urban, industrial and agricultural activities in HCMC has resulted in depletion of groundwater and severe pollution of both groundwater and surface water. Surface water quality, groundwater quality, biodiversity, and the sanitation of domestic and industrial waste water are matters that need serious improvement. Current and future water supply in HCMC is at risk. HCMC can cope with it, but the seven governance gaps as described by the OECD are major obstacles for HCMC. Rainwater harvesting, pollution reduction, as well as wastewater reuse are among the practical options. Wastewater reuse could lower the water stress index to 10%. The window to do this is narrow and rapidly closing as a result of the unprecedented urbanization and economic growth of this region. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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