Vientiane Struggles To Produce Sufficient Water

An under-construction water purification project set for completion late this year will increase water supply coverage from about 71 percent to 85 percent in the capital, a senior official has announced.

The project is being developed to expand water purification capacity at the Dong Mark Khai plant.

Once completed, the expansion phase alone will produce an additional 100,000 cubic metres per day bringing the total to 280,000 cubic metres, the Vientiane waterworks enterprise, Nam Papa Nakhone Luan g (NPNL) announced yesterday.

The NPNL issued an announcement yesterday in the wake of concern over the insufficient supply of water it currently produces.

The NPNL called for members of the public to exercise economical use of the limited water in order to ensure those in outlining areas and on higher ground would also have enough water for their daily needs.

At present, four purification plants operated by the NPNL are producing 180,000 cubic metres a day – still far short of the current total demand for 320,000 cubic metres a day.

The NPNL said the four purification plants – Kaokiew, Chinaimo, Dong Mark Khai and Dongbang, are already running at full capacity, but cannot meet the growing consumer demand.

Despite the under-construction expansion project set to boost water supply coverage after its completion, a precise date to offer a full water supply service to the public remains unclear.

General Manager of the NPNL, Mr Khampheuy Vongsakhamphoui stated that members of the public will have to wait for sometime following the project’s completion.

He explained that financial sources will be sought to fund the installation of water supply pipelines, saying that finance is not available at this moment.

A master plan to lay out the pipeline is being drawn up with support from France.

Details including the investment cost needed for the installation of the pipeline, and how long it will take for the pipeline to be installed, will be identified once the master plan is finished.

So far, the water supply sector has only been developed by the government with assistance from foreign countries.

Officials said the private sector has not yet engaged in developing water supply infrastructure due to limited profits, given that water is a controlled list item, recognised by the government as strategically sensitive in which the unit price of water is not allowed to be significantly increased for profit.

Source: Vientiane Times

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