AWA in Vietnam

Australian Water Association in Vietnam

Overview of Vietnam water sector

Major capital investments across Vietnam have delivered greater water security and safety in recent years. However, water infrastructure and services have often not kept pace with economic development. Ageing water supply systems struggle to cope with rapid growth in demand, and environmental management services are not adequately dealing with the final treatment and disposal of liquid or solid waste.

In addition to that, management efficiency of water utilities is often constrained by the lack of up-to-date and reliable information on the extent or condition of assets, low water tariffs and lack of accountability. Rising sea levels and new extremes in droughts and flood events are compounding the challenges facing the Vietnam water sector.

In terms of regulatory frameworks and institutions, in response to new risks, over the years there have been layers of new regulations and responsibilities imposed across the Vietnam water sector. Devolution of responsibilities to the provincial government, coupled with a greater role for the private sector is adding to the challenge.

One key point determining the development of the water sector in Vietnam is the access to capital and private sector involvement. Servicing expanding populations of Vietnam will require continued major capital expenditure and technological innovation. The Vietnam Government is actively encouraging private investors to provide the capital required or private service providers to enter the market. Despite strong national policy on public-private partnership, the sector is yet to attract significant private sector interest.

The Australian Water Association is working with the Vietnam Government and the broader water sector in four key areas:
- Strengthening the governance and service delivery of Vietnam water sector
- Public Private Partnerships in Water
- Technology demonstration and pathways to commercialisation
- Water operator "twinning"partnerships to enhance knowledge sharing and capacity building

Australian Government in Vietnam Water Sector

The Australian Government has played a significant role in the last six years enabling greater access to drinking water services for many rural and remote communities in Vietnam. The Australian Government is also working closely with many provinces to empower women in the use of Australian water technologies. The Australian government investment has been significant with a total of 80 million dollars going towards improving access to safe drinking water where traditional supply sources are not feasible. In 2011, 58% (or 38 million) of the Vietnam population did not have access to safe drinking water however, with Australian Government assistance this number is now decreasing at rapid pace.

Aus4Water Program

Vietnam has made significant improvements in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector in the past two decades, however important regional disparities remain. Some provinces are only able to provide clean water supply to 10 per cent of the population and 35 million people in Vietnam’s rural areas still do not have clean water. Lack of access to clean water is a significant cost to rural communities, particularly women who carry the main responsibility for household water needs. Improving water supply and sanitation infrastructure is therefore not only a health priority, it is also an important strategy to continue economic growth and reduce poverty in Vietnam. Through Aus4Water Australia will support the Government of Vietnam to discover innovative approaches to increase private sector engagement in rural water supply, to replicate successful models across Vietnam and to increase economic opportunities for women. For further information you can view the overview of Australia's aid program to Vietnam. The Australian Water Sector is well positioned to play a future role to enable Vietnam achieve its Aus4Water objectives over the next five years.

Australians and Vietnamese: Personal ties

Paul Smith likes Vietnam so much he has visited the country 28 times in 20 years. He now has his ‘dream job’ as International Manager for the Australian Water Association. In this role, he is in a prime position to connect expertise within the Australian and Vietnam water sectors. Read this and more stories in the DFAT brochure "Australians and Vietnamese: Personal ties" available for download here.

Quick Links

The Australian program at Vietwater is your chance to meet with Vietnam’s water leaders including CEOs of water utilities, Ministers and senior government officials, NGO’s, private sector organisations and peak water associations.
Find out more

The Association is working with the Vietnam Government and the broader water sector in two key areas: Strengthening the governance and service delivery of Vietnam water sector, and Public Private Partnerships in Water.
Find out more

The Australian Water Association in Partnership with the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association and with support from the Australian Water Partnership has commenced a twinning program between five Australian utilities and five Vietnam water utilities.
Find out more

In our Document Library you will find a selection of documents which you may find useful for finding out more information about the water sector in Vietnam.
Find out more

Sponsored by:
ANZ