Floating Vientiane pump stations to access river water
Water storage engineers in Vientiane are now installing pumps on boats moored over deep sections of the Mekong River as alternatives to riverbank pumps to access sufficient water supplies.
Currently, riverbank pumps are still taking water from the Mekong to reservoirs but the level of water is quite low.
Director of Vientiane Water Supply Company (Nampapa Nakhoneluang) Mr Khampheuy Vongsakhamphoui, told Vientiane Times they were making preparations for the dry season, meaning the floating pumps will be stationed over the deepest parts of the river.
Vientiane officials expected this coming dry season to be more severe than usual affecting the whole region including neighbouring countries.
Some residents in Phontong village said on Thursday that they've turned on their taps during the daytime over the last few days but no water was coming out.
As this is only the beginning of the dry season. There are concerns for when very hot weather occurs from March to May and household water consumption increases as people try to keep cool.
An official from Kaoliew water treatment plant, who requested anonymity, said this year the Mekong River was dropping quite quickly and from the end of January in Laos temperatures would start rising again adding to water usage
“This month we will use boats moored at deep points of the Mekong to ensure there is enough water to meet the higher demand of people in Vientiane,” she said.
“There is sufficient water for residential and commercial consumption in Vientiane, but some households on the city outskirts don't have enough with water only sometimes flowing to houses at night after many have stopped using it,” the official added.
Vientiane has three water treatment plants at Chinaimo, Kaoliew and Dongmakkhai, which supply water daily.
Consumers now use 320,000 cubic metres of water a day, but supply capacity in Vientiane has remained the same in recent years with only about 180,000 cubic metres supplied each day.
Some households in Vientiane, especially in the Saynamgneun area of Xaythany district and the Tadthong area of Sikhottabong district occasionally receive no water in their taps for a whole week.
Vientiane Water Supply Enterprise's treatment plants combined daily production capacity is set to increase to 280,000 cubic metres when a new plant under construction in the Dongmakkhai area of Xaythany district is completed.
In 2016, some 300,000 cubic metres of water will be available when another water treatment plant becomes operational in Hadxaifong district.
By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
(Latest Update November 13, 2015)