Reality survey to support the review of water resource law (amendment)

01/10/2023

TN&MTA delegation from the National Assembly's Committee on Science, Technology, and Environment, led by Ms. Nguyễn Thị Lệ Thủy, Deputy Head of the Committee on Science, Technology, and Environment, visited and conducted a field survey in Long An province to serve the assessment of the proposed amendments to the Water Resource Law. The National Assembly is expected to provide its initial feedback during the 5th session in May 2023 and review the law for approval during the 6th session in October 2023.

During the working session, representatives from the Departments of Natural Resources and Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Construction, Planning and Investment, and Finance reported on the results of water resource management, particularly the implementation of the 2012 Water Resource Law and related decrees, circulars, and guidance documents at the local level. They also discussed the challenges and difficulties encountered in the local implementation of legal provisions related to water resources.

Overview of the Working Session

The difficulties and challenges in implementing the 2012 Water Resource Law in Long An province are centered around issues such as the lack of specific guidelines for granting permits for drilling reserve wells, insufficient and scattered information, data, and water resource assessments, low compliance awareness among organizations and businesses, and a shortage of government officials with expertise in water resource management, especially at the district and commune levels. These officials often have to handle multiple responsibilities across various fields, making it challenging to provide effective management at the grassroots level.

To ensure effective, efficient, and contextually relevant water resource management in the future, the People's Committee of Long An province proposed several amendments and additions to the Water Resource Law. These include provisions for government agencies to map regions at risk of drought, water shortages, and saline intrusion, as well as regulations for proactive responses to these challenges. Furthermore, they suggested the establishment of a comprehensive coordination mechanism between neighboring provinces and regions for water resource management, allocation, and distribution among various sectors and localities. This approach would clearly define responsibilities, roles, and tasks for each ministry, sector, and locality.

Additionally, the People's Committee of Long An province appealed to the delegation from the National Assembly's Committee on Science, Technology, and Environment to consider and support their request for funding for projects aimed at preventing saltwater intrusion and constructing freshwater reservoirs. These initiatives aim to serve both production and daily life, with a focus on providing regional and inter-provincial water supplies to address the impacts of climate change and saline intrusion.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Le Thuy, Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly's Committee on Science, Technology, and Environment, delivered a speech during the working session.

In her remarks during the working session, Ms. Nguyễn Thị Lệ Thủy commended the achievements in water resource management and the implementation of the 2012 Water Resource Law in Long An province over the past years. She also expressed her willingness to take into account and explore the recommendations and proposals made by the People's Committee of Long An province, local authorities, and relevant agencies. These considerations will contribute to the forthcoming amendments to the Water Resource Law, ensuring its alignment with practical needs, increasing its effectiveness, and addressing challenges faced by ministries, sectors, localities, and stakeholders within the law's scope of regulation.

PV

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