Vietnam lost nearly 1.8 million cubic meters of clean water per day last year, accounting for 30 percent of the total daily water supply, said experts at a conference in the central city of Da Nang on Thursday.
Although the water loss rate decreased by 5 percent from 2005, it was still higher than those of other Southeast Asian countries, experts said at the meeting on water loss prevention.
The loss was mainly caused by leaks in pipe systems, some of which had been used for over 30 years and suffered from severe wear and tear, said Nguyen Tuong Van, deputy head of the Technical Infrastructure at the Ministry of Construction.
The northern city of Hai Phong lost over 8 million cubic meters last year, including 6.6 million cubic meters caused by pipe leaks, the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association (VWSSA) reported.
Water suppliers didn't pay attention to proper repairs, but instead only focused on ways to increase capacity, Van added.
However, some experts argued that water retail prices weren't high enough for suppliers to take care of production and repair pipe systems at the same time.
The construction ministry is drafting a national plan to decrease clean water losses to less than 15 percent by 2025, according to Van.
Once it was started and approved by the government, the VND9.4-trillion project will help the country save some 1.3 million cubic meters per day, he said.
Last year, 68 water suppliers nationwide provided nearly 6 million cubic meters of clean water per day for some 70 percent of the Vietnamese population, the association reported.
The conference was held by the Asian Development Bank in cooperation with VWSSA, Danang Water Supply Corporation and the Dutch-owned Viten-Evides International Company.