Deputy PM Hai urges innovation in irrigation planning

Friday, 2016-01-15 17:57:47
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Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai awards the Labour Order to IWRP’s individuals for their outstanding achievements in the recent years. (Credit: baochinhphu.vn)
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NDO – Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked the irrigation sector for initiatives to enhance creativity in irrigation planning and promote co-operation with relevant agencies to enhance crop and livestock restructuring and efficient water use.

The deputy PM was speaking during a ceremony in Hanoi on January 15 to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the establishment of the Institute of Water Resources Planning (IWRP) and receive the Hero of Labour title for the institute’s contribution to national development.

Addressing the ceremony, Deputy PM Hai praised achievements by the irrigation sector and the institute over the past 55 years.

As an agricultural country, the institute’s role in developing irrigation systems for agriculture in the north and deacidification and alkaline washing solutions for rice fields of high productivity in the south is of paramount importance, the government official affirmed.

So far, the country has a synchronous irrigation infrastructure with over 900 large and medium-sized irrigation systems, nearly 7,000 reservoirs, 10,000 km of dykes, over 250,000 km of canals, more than 13,300 pumping stations, and 5,500 irrigation drains.

Emphasising the crucial nature of water and irrigation work for the country’s development, especially in the context of climate change and the boom in water exploitation and increasingly water demand, the deputy PM urged the irrigation sector to focus on restructuring and actively reviewing irrigation planning to serve multiple purposes. Irrigation not only serves the development of agriculture, but also facilitates aquaculture, ensuring water supply for the people, and meeting the domestic demand of the economy.

According to him, Vietnam is a countries short of water; more than 60% of its water depends on river basins outside the borders. Meanwhile, neighbouring countries are speeding up construction of hydropower projects on the Mekong River and Red River systems. Together with the impact of climate change, extreme weather trends and increasing demand for exploitation and use of water for economic sectors are the big challenges for the nation and irrigation sector in particular.

IWRP Director Bui Nam Sach said the institute will deploy river basin planning to meet the requirements of irrigation investment, while strengthening collaboration with related agencies and localities to develop irrigation planning for socio-economic development.

In addition, the institute also promotes scientific research and application of new methodologies and technologies in planning and calculations to fit with professional requirements in the new period.

On the occasion, Deputy PM Hai awarded the Labour Order to several individuals from the IWRP for their outstanding achievements in the last years.

Established on January 16, 1961, the IWRP is a public service unit under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, tasked with carrying out surveys, scientific research, and technology transfer; as well as consultation and planning services for irrigation to sustainably regulate, use, protect and develop water resources, environment and water quality on the national scale.

The institute is well-known for its active role in irrigation and construction of a series of large projects in the north including the large-scale Bac Hung Hai irrigation system, Nam Ha pumping station, and Nui Coc, Hoa Binh, and Thac Ba hydropower lakes.

In the south, IWRP has proposed building multi-purpose irrigation systems in Phu Ninh and Dau Tieng, as well as Thac Mo and Tri An hydropower plants. It also had big policy decisions on flood control and salt water intrusion prevention in the Mekong Delta region. In the Central Highlands, it developed a series of reservoirs and efficient irrigation systems for specific agricultural crops in the region.