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Home water tanks suggested as anti-flooding measure for Ho Chi Minh City

Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 17:05 GMT+7
Home water tanks suggested as anti-flooding measure for Ho Chi Minh City
A home water tank model is seen in perspective.

Building reservoirs at households or in public and other areas has been put forward as a solution to chronic flooding caused by heavy rains in Ho Chi Minh City, the Anti-flooding Program Operation Center reported.

The center said it is considering a project to set up small water tanks in urban areas, industrial parks, hospitals, schools, offices, and households to contain rainwater and prevent it from submerging the city.

The center added that it will refer the anti-flooding project to the municipal Department of Planning and Architecture for consideration.

This project is suitable for the city, where large reservoirs, covering hundreds of hectares, for the same purpose cannot be built due to lack of land, said the Center for Water Management and Climate Change (CWMCC) under the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City, which has set it up.

This anti-flooding model has been applied in other countries, including Germany, where a reservoir at home is mandatory.

Such tanks are necessary as systems in the city have failed to drain water from heavy rains, causing inundation to many areas, the CWMCC said.

Small tanks can be built on the rooftop of residential homes, while large ones, covering up to thousands of square meters, can be erected in other places, including industrial parks and urban areas, according to the CWMCC.

Rainwater contained in home tanks, which can be constructed on rooftops, or larger ones in offices, hospitals, schools, and other public places can be used for different purposes, including watering trees, washing or cleaning, it added.

As for households, small water tanks will not be expensive, as each tank can be built at a cost of VND2-3 million (US$89-134), Ho Long Phi, the center’s director said.

This project may be piloted in areas most prone to flooding and in new urban areas including District 2, District 7, District 9 and District 12, Phi suggested.

He recommended that households agreeing to build such tanks be given financial support by the state.

Feedback

It is difficult to consider this project feasible for many reasons, said engineer Nguyen Van Duc, director of the city-based Tan Design Consulting Company.

The building of tanks at home can be too expensive for many families, Duc said.

Instead of suggesting that people build reservoirs on rooftops, agencies concerned should encourage them to grow plants there to both absorb rainwater and create green space, he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Le Huy Ba, former head of the Institute for Technology and Environment Management under the Ho Chi Minh City University of Industry, said the idea behind the project is not new as it was brought forward many years ago but was not applied.

Each reservoir may cause the cost of building a house to increase by 20-30 percent, so the state should give support should the project be approved.

When a reservoir is built on top of a house, the penetration-proof capability of the rooftop and the load-bearing capacity of the home should be considered carefully, Dr. Ba advised.

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