Eighty percent of all diseases suffered by Vietnamese citizens are due to water pollution, the Water Resources Management Department said Tuesday.
The department, which is under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said diseases related to water were "a big issue" in Vietnam though efforts have been made of late to provide more clean water to residents.
The department's assessments were contained in a report released on the occasion of the World Water Day last Monday and the 60th anniversary of the World Hydrometeorology Organization the fell Tuesday.
Dysentery and diarrhea are still common ailments in Vietnam, mostly in poor neighborhoods, the department said.
Many Vietnamese people, most of them children, have died from using unclean water, it said.
Figures from the department showed that six water-related diseases caused around six million people to fall sick in the past four years. During this period, the country spent around VND400 billion (US$21.4 million) to treat diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid and malaria.
Climate change and the rise in sea levels will further affect the quality and health of Vietnam's water resources, and this is a challenge that Vietnam cannot avoid facing, it said.
A World Bank report last year listed Vietnam among the five countries in the world most affected by rising sea levels.