The Yangon population will have to reduce its use of underground water from 2025, as thereafter, such water will be used only as a reserve for emergencies, according to the advisory team of the National Water Resources Committee (NWRC).
The members of NWRC revealed this during a talk by the national-level water resources committee advisory group held on 10 June.
“Underground water is taken by Yangon residents legally and illegally. Landslides may occur due to the continued excess use of underground water. Therefore, we are planning to nearly phase out the use of underground water and substitute another water resource instead,” said U Victor Ngun Kio, a member of NWRC.
“The underground water usage will be stopped in 2025. For substitution, a new water resource project will be implemented in Kokkowa, Panhlaing and Toe rivers,” he maintained.
The underground water will be used during the short-term cut-off of water supply during disasters, said U Cho Cho, chairman of the NWRC advisory group.
Currently, the quality of underground water is inferior compared with water from reservoirs due to the saltwater intrusions in certain places.
Phugyi, Hlawga and Ngamoeyeik reservoirs supply nearly 200 million gallons of water per day in Yangon, covering 40 per cent of the Yangon population. 45 per cent of the Yangon residents are dependent on underground water.
In 2040, 610 million gallons of water was planned to be extracted per day from Toe, Panhlaing and Kokkowa rivers, with the help of Japan’s water purifying techniques for distribution, said U Victor Ngun Kio said.
A delegation of NWRC representatives and officials from the Engineering Department (Water and Sanitation), operating under the Yangon City Development Committee, visited the Amagasaki water treatment plant from which distribution pipelines link to Kobe. The delegation observed the self-balance filter with backwash tank holding type used in plants. This technology is suitable for developing countries, as the cost of maintenance and capital is low. Myanmar will adopt this technology for future distribution projects.
Yangon needs reservoirs to keep rainwater and green areas or pavements to absorb rainwater, as rainwater cannot seep through the cement roads in the Yangon city. Water experts have suggested that green pavements should be incorporated into the zoning plans.
By May Thet Hnin