In order to prevent land encroachment affecting water sources; mitigate activities causing water pollution; conserve and develop aquatic ecosystems; and protect historical and religious areas near water sources, the Government on May 6 issued Decree No. 43/2015/ND-CP on building and management of corridors to protect water sources.
The Decree, which will take effect on July 1, specifies the building of a land strip of a width of between 5 meters and 20 meters between a river bank and an area in which building activities can be carried out.
Specifically, the gap must be at least 10 meters from rivers, streams or canals flowing through urban and residential areas. In non-residential areas, the space is reduced to 5 meters.
For rivers, streams and canals at risk of bank erosion, People’s Committees of provinces and centrally-run cities may, based on local waterway developments and erosion situation, decide to increase the corridor’s width.
The new regulation also prescribes the water source protection corridor for hydropower reservoirs, irrigation reservoirs, natural lakes and built lakes in urban centers and residential areas.
It enumerates prohibited acts related to water source protection corridors. Particularly, hospitals and clinics for infectious disease treatment, cemeteries, waste landfills, toxic chemical manufacturing plants, and manufacturing and processing workshops discharging hazardous wastewater will be banned from building or expanding their facilities within water source protection corridors.-