Law on Water Resources 2023, No. 28/2023/QH15

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ATTRIBUTE Law on Water Resources 2023

Law on Water Resources No. 28/2023/QH15 dated November 27, 2023 of the National Assembly
Issuing body: National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of VietnamEffective date:
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Official number:28/2023/QH15Signer:Vuong Dinh Hue
Type:LawExpiry date:Updating
Issuing date:27/11/2023Effect status:
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Fields:Natural Resources - Environment
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Effect status: Known

THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

 

THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness

No. 28/2023/QH15

 

 

LAW

ON WATER RESOURCES[1]

Pursuant to the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam;

The National Assembly promulgates the Law on Water Resources.

 

Chapter I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. Scope of regulation

1. This Law provides the management, protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use of water resources; and prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms in the territory of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

2. Groundwater under the sea and seawater within the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; mineral water and natural thermal water are not regulated by this Law.

Article 2. Interpretation of terms

In this Law, the terms below are construed as follows:

1. Water resources include surface water, groundwater, rainwater and seawater.

2. Water sources means natural and artificial forms of water accumulation. Natural forms of water accumulation include rivers, streams, canals, ditches, lakes, ponds, lagoons and aquifers, and other natural forms of water accumulation. Artificial forms of water accumulation include hydropower and hydraulic reservoirs, rivers, canals, ditches, lakes, ponds and lagoons, and other artificial forms of water accumulation.

3. Surface water means water existing on the surface of the mainland and islands.

4. Groundwater means water existing in aquifers on the mainland and islands and under the sea.

5. Transboundary surface water source means a surface water source located in the territory of Vietnam and territories of other countries.

6. Inter-provincial surface water source means a surface water source located in two or more provinces and centrally run cities.

7. Intra-provincial surface water source means a surface water source located in one province or centrally run city.

8. River basin means a land area within which surface water and groundwater naturally flow into rivers and drain into the same estuary or into the sea.

9. Transboundary river basin means a river basin located in the territory of Vietnam and territories of other countries.

10. Inter-provincial river basin means a river basin located in two or more provinces and centrally run cities.

11. Intra-provincial river basin means a river basin located in one province or centrally run city.

12. Domestic water supply source means a water source used for domestic water supply.

13. Water pollution means a change in physical properties, chemical properties and/or biological composition of water that makes them unconformable with environmental standards or technical regulations, thus causing adverse impacts on humans, organisms and the nature.

14. Water degradation means a decrease in water quantity or quality, thus adversely affecting water extraction and use activities and aquatic ecosystems.

15. Water depletion means a serious decrease in water quantity, thus making a water source no longer extractable and usable.

16. Water source functions means the capacity of a water source to provide its values and benefits for water use purposes.

17. Carrying capacity of surface water source means a threshold below which an additional amount of pollutants can be received while the water source’s quality remains unchanged for use purposes according to standards or technical regulations.

18. Minimum flow means a flow at the lowest level necessary to maintain a river, stream or river or stream section with a view to ensuring the normal development of the aquatic ecosystem therein and guaranteeing a minimum level for water extraction and use activities.

19. Groundwater extraction threshold means an allowable limit for groundwater extraction in order not to cause seawater intrusion, water degradation, water depletion, land subsidence, or adverse impacts on water sources and the environment.

20. Sanitary protection zone of domestic water supply source means a zone that is adjacent to the location of a domestic water supply source and is required to be protected so as to prevent and control pollution of domestic water sources.

21. Water source protection corridor means a limited land area along a surface water source or around a surface water source to protect the water source and maintain its functions.

22. Water source restoration means measures to improve the quantity and quality of water with a view to restoring flows and functions of a water source and raising economic, ecological, cultural and historical values associated with such water source.

23. Water security means assurance of water quantity and quality to serve the people’s livelihood in all circumstances, meet the water demand for socio-economic development, national defense, security and environmental activities, and minimize water-related catastrophic risks and harms caused by humans and nature.

24. Extraction and use of water resources means activities of extracting and using the potential and value of water resources to serve the people’s livelihood, socio-economic development, environmental protection, and conservation of religious and belief activities, cultural values and biodiversity.

25. Real-time reservoir operation means the continuous and instantaneous process of reservoir operation and regulation on the basis of compliance with reservoir operation procedures and updating of hydrometeorological information, data and forecasts based on real time.

26. Wastewater means water whose characteristics and properties have been changed and which is discharged from production, business, service provision, daily-life or other activities.

27. Water reuse means reuse of wastewater in conformity with national technical regulations and for proper water use purposes.

28. Circular water use means the process of reusing water in a production cycle.

29. Water source development means measures to raise the capacity of water retention, water storage, water conveyance and water diversion, ensure sustainable water extraction and use, and increase the value of water resources.

Article 3. Principles of management, protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use of water resources, and prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms

1. Ensuring sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, national interests, fairness and rationality in the protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use of water resources, and prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms; ensuring water security so that all people can access and use water in a fair and reasonable manner.

2. Water resources shall be managed in an integrated and uniform manner in terms quantity and quality, ensuring the balance between surface water and groundwater and between upstream and downstream areas, and in combination with the management of other natural resources.

3. Water resource management must ensure uniformity based on river basins and water sources, in combination with the administrative boundary-based management, clearly assigning and distinguishing between the responsibility for state management of water resources and water sources and responsibility for state management of planning, construction and operation of hydraulic structures, hydropower works and urban water supply and rural water supply facilities.

4. Water resource protection must regard prevention as the main solution, associated with the protection of water quantity and quality; and protecting, and improving the quality of, forests in association with the protection and development of water generation sources and water source functions.

5. The extraction and use of water resources are subject to declaration, registration and licensing in conformity with the supply capacity of water sources under water resource regulation and distribution plans and water resource master plans, ensuring integrated, multi-purpose, economical and efficient use of water resources.

6. The management, extraction and use of water resources must conform to natural laws and conditions; local culture, history, religions and beliefs; market mechanism and socio-economic development level.

7. The contents on prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms shall be included in plans with proactive measures, ensuring the harmony of interests of the country, regions, localities, sectors and fields, and the combination of advanced science and technology with traditional experience and suitability to socio-economic conditions.

8. National sectoral master plans and technical and specialized master plans having contents on water resource extraction and use; plans on quality management of the surface water environment; and socio-economic development and national defense and security assurance plans, programs and projects must take into account the capacity and functions of water sources, protection of water resources, and maintenance of the minimum flow, thereby ensuring no excess of groundwater extraction thresholds, and conformity with water resource master plans.

9. To protect, restore, develop, extract and use water resources, and prevent, control and remediate water-caused harms are rights, obligations and responsibilities of all agencies, organizations and individuals.

Article 4. State policies on water resources

1. To modernize and professionalize the management of water resources toward the governance of national water resources on digital technology platforms through the national information system and database on water resources and a decision support system, ensuring the efficient use of resources in water resource management.

2. To prioritize investment in the prospecting, exploration and extraction of water sources, water storage, and restoration of degraded, depleted and polluted water sources; to adopt incentive policies for investment projects on water extraction for domestic use and production activities of people in areas suffering freshwater scarcity, ethnic minority areas, mountainous areas, border areas, islands, areas meeting with difficult socio-economic conditions and areas meeting with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions; to facilitate access to domestic water for the poor, women, children, people with disabilities and other vulnerable persons.

3. To prioritize investment in building the water resource monitoring and supervision network and the national information system and database on water resources, and raise the capacity to forecast water resources, flood, inundation, drought, saltwater intrusion, sea level rise and other water-caused harms.

4. To encourage, and provide incentives and support for, organizations and individuals to participate in conducting basic survey of water resources; protecting and developing water sources and water generation sources; storing water and restoring degraded, depleted and polluted water sources; regulating and distributing water resources; and preventing, controlling and remediating water-caused harms.

5. Organizations and individuals are encouraged to formulate and apply standards, and research, transfer and apply advanced science and technology for the management, protection, restoration and development of water sources; economical and efficient water extraction and use, circular water use and water reuse; treatment of seawater into freshwater; harvesting and use of rainwater and artificial recharge of groundwater; restoration of degraded, depleted and polluted water sources; and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation.

6. To expand and intensify international integration and cooperation on water resources.

Article 5. Lists of river basins, lists of water sources

1. Lists of river basins and lists of water sources serve as a basis for implementation of contents on water resource management, basic survey, planning, protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation based on river basins and water sources.

2. Lists of river basins include:

a/ List of transboundary river basins;

b/ List of inter-provincial river basins;

c/ List of intra-provincial river basins.

3. Lists of water sources include:

a/ List of transboundary surface water sources, list of inter-provincial surface water sources and list of intra-provincial surface water sources;

b/ List of groundwater sources.

Article 6. Science and technology development in water resource management, protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use, and water-caused harm prevention control and remediation

1. To carry out scientific research and technological application and development to serve the following activities:

a/ Carrying out basic survey of water resources; accounting water resources; developing national water security indicators;

b/ Monitoring and forecasting water sources;

c/ Regulating and distributing water resources on digital technology platforms; building a decision support system and real-time reservoir and inter-reservoir operation procedures;

d/ Seeking solutions to respond to, prevent and control drought, water shortage, flood, inundation, waterlogging, seawater intrusion, land subsidence and landslides in river and lake beds, banks and plains; applying advanced technology to treat seawater into freshwater;

dd/ Seeking solutions for artificial recharge of groundwater;

e/ Promoting circular water use, reusing water and improving water use efficiency in production, business and service activities;

g/ Treating wastewater, rehabilitating and restoring degraded, depleted and polluted water sources; seeking solutions to develop water sources and protect water generation sources;

h/ Operating and regulating reservoirs, and rationally exploiting and using water sources; controlling water sources, creating water sources and storing water, and building water connection and diversion networks;

i/ Manufacturing water-efficient equipment and technologies; improving, innovating and upgrading water-using equipment.

2. Ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, organize the formulation and implementation of scientific research and technological development programs serving the management, protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use of water resources, and prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms.

3. Based on requirements on management, protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use of water resources, and prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms in each period, and at the proposal of ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees, the Ministry of Science and Technology shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in, formulating the national-level science and technology program on water resources in accordance with the law on science and technology and other relevant laws.

Article 7. National information system and database on natural resources

1. Information and data on water resources include:

a/ Information and data on water quantity and quality;

b/ Data on water resource extraction and use and wastewater discharge into water sources;

c/ Data on inventory, survey and evaluation of water resources, and water resource master plans;

d/ Information and figures on declaration, registration and licensing of water resource exploration, extraction and use;

dd/ Lists of river basins; lists of water sources; lists of lakes, ponds and lagoons not permitted for leveling; water protection corridors; water source functions; minimum flows; groundwater extraction thresholds; river and stream cross-sections; maps of areas prone to drought and water shortage; and lists and maps of areas where groundwater extraction is banned or restricted, and other information on water resources;

e/ Information and figures on water resource monitoring as specified in Article 51 of this Law and hydrometeorological and water environment quality monitoring figures.

2. The State shall allocate budget funds for establishing, managing, operating and maintaining the national information system and database on water resources.

3. The national information system and database on water resources must satisfy the following requirements:

a/ Integration, connection, interoperability and sharing of water resource data with agencies’, organizations’ and individuals’ databases related to water resource basic survey, extraction and use, ensuring information security;

b/ Convenient provision of public services on water resources; ensuring the access, accessibility and use of information and data and updating of information to the national information system and database on water resources in accordance with law.

4. Organizations and individuals are encouraged to provide donations and support for, and apply new technologies in, establishing, managing, operating and maintaining the national information system and database on water resources.

5. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall organize the establishment, management, operation and maintenance of the national information system and database on water resources; and update the water resource information and data specified in Clause 1 of this Article under their management to the national information system and database on water resources.

6. Ministries and ministerial-level agencies shall direct the connection and interoperability of water resource data specified in Clause 1 of this Article under their management with the national information system and database on water resources.

7. Provincial-level People’s Committees shall direct the provision and updating of water resource information and data specified in Clause 1 of this Article under their management to the national information system and database on water resources.

8. Organizations and individuals are encouraged to share and update water resource information and data collected by themselves with/to the national information system and database on water resources and given priority in exploiting and using information and data of the national information system and database on water resources.

9. The Government shall detail this Article.

Article 8. Prohibited acts

1. Dumping wastes or garbage, dumping or leaking toxic substances, or discharging harmful emissions into water sources.

2. Discharging wastewater into groundwater sources; discharging wastewater not yet treated up to environmental technical regulations on wastewater into surface water or seawater sources.

3. Discharging wastewater or bringing wastes into sanitary protection zones of domestic water supply sources.

4. Illegally exploring, extracting and using water resources or practicing groundwater drilling.

5. Encroaching on or filling rivers, streams, canals and ditches, unless otherwise provided by law; placing obstructions or obstacles, building architectural works, or planting trees that obstruct flood drainage or water circulation in rivers, streams, reservoirs, canals and ditches and failing to take any remedial measures.

6. Illegally exploiting sand, gravel, mud, soil and other minerals in rivers, streams, canals, ditches, lakes or water source protection corridors; drilling, digging, building houses, works or architectural objects, or carrying out other activities in water source protection corridors that cause landslides on banks of rivers, streams, canals, ditches and lakes.

7. Sabotaging facilities for water protection, regulation and storage or water resource extraction, use and monitoring, or facilities for prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms.

8. Falsifying water resource information and data.

9. Failing to comply with reservoir and inter-reservoir operation procedures issued by competent agencies.

10. Building dams, reservoirs or facilities for water regulation and storage; or developing water sources in contravention of water resource master plans, provincial master plans and other relevant master plans.

 

Chapter II

BASIC SURVEY OF WATER RESOURCES, WATER RESOURCE STRATEGIES AND MASTER PLANS

Section 1

BASIC SURVEY OF WATER RESOURCES

Article 9. Basic survey of water resources

1. Basic survey of water resources aims to collect information and data serving the formulation of national water resource strategies and water resource master plans, the management, protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use of water resources, prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms, and water security assurance.

Results of basic survey of water resources funded by the state budget shall be subject to appraisal and testing by competent state agencies under regulations of the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

2. Basic survey of water resources must adhere to the principles of unity, synchronization, succession and efficiency of resources.

3. Basic survey of water resources covers the following activities:

a/ Surveying and evaluating water resources;

b/ Inventorying water resources;

c/ Preparing national water resource reports;

d/ Establishing and maintaining networks for monitoring water resources, and supervising, warning and forecasting water sources; establishing and operating the decision support system;

dd/ Measuring river and stream cross-sections; evaluating developments of landslides on river beds, banks and plains; carrying out investigation and survey in service of the formulation of groundwater protection plans or establishment of water source protection corridors;

e/ Developing water source scenarios; reporting on water resource extraction and use by related provinces, centrally run cities and ministries to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for summarization.

4. An overall master plan on basic survey of water resources is specified as follows:

a/ Overall master plan on basic survey of water resources is a technical and specialized master plan. The formulation of an overall master plan on basic survey of water resources shall be based on the relevant socio-economic development and national defense and security strategy and plan, National Water Resource Strategy and water resource master plan;

b/ An overall master plan on basic survey of water resources must have the following principal contents: evaluation of the implementation of the previous period’s master plan; determination of requirements for information and figures on water resources and water resource extraction and use nationwide; identification of activities of basic survey of water resources as specified in Clause 3 of this Article and order of priority for implementation during the period of the master plan; water resource monitoring network; solutions, funding, plans and schedule for implementation; and integration of the list of transboundary surface water sources, list of inter-provincial surface water sources and list of groundwater sources;

c/ The period of an overall master plan on basic survey of water resources is 10 years with a vision of 30 years;

d/ The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall organize the formulation and modification of overall master plans on basic survey of water resources and submit them to the Prime Minister for approval.

5. The Government shall detail Clause 3 of this Article and provide the formulation, appraisal, approval and adjustment of overall master plans on basic survey of water resources.

Article 10. Organization of basic survey of water resources

1. Basic survey of water resources must comply with the following provisions:

a/ The basic survey shall be carried out on a regular basis, for the activities specified at Point d, Clause 3, Article 9 of this Law;

b/ The basic survey shall be carried out on an annual basis, for the activities specified at Point e, Clause 3, Article 9 of this Law;

c/ The basic survey shall be carried out once every 5 years, for the activities specified at Points b, c and dd, Clause 3, Article 9 of this Law;

d/ The activities specified at Point a, Clause 3, Article 9 of this Law shall be carried out in accordance with the relevant overall master plan on basic survey of water resources; in case these activities need to be carried out on an extraordinary basis to serve the performance of urgent tasks in the state management of water resources in provincial-level localities or in two or more provinces and centrally run cities, they shall be decided by chairpersons of provincial-level People’s Committees or the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, respectively, except cases subject to the Prime Minister’s decision.

2. Funds for basic survey of water resources shall be included in annual state budget estimates as recurrent expenditures and development investment expenditures in accordance with the law on the state budget and the law on public investment.

3. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall organize the basic survey of water resources nationwide, except the contents specified in Clause 4 of this Article; and summarize results of the basic survey of water resources nationwide.

4. Provincial-level People’s Committees shall formulate plans on and organize basic survey of water resources in localities under their management and summarize and update results thereof to the national information system and database on water resources under Article 7 of this Law.

5. Organizations and individuals carrying out basic survey of water resources funded by the state budget shall update information and survey results to the national information system and database on water resources under Article 7 of this Law.

6. The Government shall detail this Article.

 

Section 2

WATER RESOURCE STRATEGIES AND MASTER PLANS

Article 11. National water resource strategies

1. A national water resource strategy serves as a basis for the formulation of water resource master plans and overall master plans on basic survey of water resources.

The formulation of a national water resource strategy shall be based on results of the basic survey and forecasting of water sources and impacts of climate change on water resources and must satisfy the following requirements:

a/ Ensuring conformity with relevant national overall master plan and socio-economic development and national defense and security assurance strategy and plan;

b/ Ensuring security, protection and development of water sources; and economical and efficient extraction and use of water resources;

c/ Meeting the water use demand and ensuring the supply capacity of water sources and orientations for international cooperation; and complying with treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

2. A national water resource strategy must have the following principal contents:

a/ Viewpoints, guiding principles, vision and objectives on the protection, extraction, use and development of water sources, and prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms;

b/ Orientations, tasks and overall solutions on protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use of water resources; and prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms; and priority schemes and projects in each phase of the strategy’s period.

3. A national water resource strategy shall be formulated for a 10-year period with a vision of 50 years.

4. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with related ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees in, formulating national water resource strategies and submit them to the Prime Minister for approval.

Article 12. Water resource master plans

1. Water resource master plans include:

a/ Water resource master plans that are national sectoral master plans and must comply with the planning law. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall organize the formulation of water resource master plans;

b/ Integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins that are technical and specialized master plans and concretize water resource master plans and shall be formulated for a 10-year period with a vision of between 20 years and 30 years;

c/ Master plans on protection, extraction and use of transboundary water sources, that are technical and specialized master plans and shall be formulated and modified upon cooperation between countries sharing water sources and on the basis of agreements between countries sharing water sources.

2. Subject matters of water resource master plans are surface water and groundwater.

3. In the formulation and modification of technical and specialized master plans of ministries and ministerial-level agencies that have contents on water resource extraction and use, it is required to seek the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s opinions on their conformity with water resource master plans.

In case contents on water resource extraction and use in technical and specialized master plans and contents of plans on quality management of the surface water environment specified in the law on environmental protection are contradictory to water resource master plans, such contents shall be modified to conform to water resource master plans.

Article 13. Bases for formulation of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins

1. National water resource strategies, water resource master plans, strategies and plans on socio-economic development and national defense and security assurance, and other relevant strategies and master plans.

2. Natural and socio-economic conditions of each locality in river basins and each region, specific conditions of each river basin, supply capacity of water sources, and forecasts of impacts of climate change on water resources.

3. Water resource extraction and use demand of sectors and localities, and environmental protection requirements.

4. Results of basic survey of water resources.

5. The approved task of formulating integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins.

Article 14. Principles of formulation of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins

The formulation of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins must comply with the planning law and adhere to the following principles:

1. Ensuring the combination of surface water with groundwater, and the extraction and use of water resources with protection and development of water sources, and prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms;

2. Ensuring the harmonious distribution of water use interests among localities, sectors and fields and between upstream areas and downstream areas; ensuring water security;

3. Serving as a basis for the formulation of other technical and specialized master plans having contents on water resource extraction and use, plans on quality management of the surface water environment, and plans on groundwater protection and water resource regulation and distribution.

Article 15. Task of formulating integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins

1. The task of formulating an integrated master plan on inter-provincial river basins must have the following principal contents:

a/ Bases for the formulation of the master plan;

b/ Overview of inter-provincial river basins;

c/ Objects, scope and contents of the master plan;

d/ Solutions, funding, plans and progress for formulation of the master plan;

dd/ Responsibilities of related agencies in organizing the formulation of the master plan.

2. The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment shall approve the task of formulating integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins.

Article 16. Contents of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins

An integrated master plan on inter-provincial river basins must have the following principal contents:

1. Analyzing and evaluating natural and socio-economic conditions and relevant socio-economic development orientations; current status of management, protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use of water resources; and prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms;

2. Forecasting possible changes in water resource quantity and quality and water demand of sectors during the period of the master plan; functional zoning of water sources; areas frequently suffering or prone to drought or water shortage; extractable water thresholds and quantities for each river section, area or aquifer; river and stream minimum flows; review and summarization of facilities for water regulation and storage and water resource extraction, use and development; identification of water resource-related issues that need to be settled during the period of the master plan;

3. Determining viewpoints and objectives of the master plan;

4. Orientations for regulation, distribution and protection of water resources, and prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms, covering:

a/ Distribution of water volume and order of priority for water resource regulation and distribution in case of drought or water shortage for sectors, localities and entities extracting and using water resources; determination of water sources and backup facilities for domestic water supply; and diversion of river basin water (if any);

b/ Identification of dams, reservoirs and facilities for water regulation and storage, and development of water sources on a large scale that exert inter-regional or inter-provincial impacts or exert great impacts on water sources;

c/ Structural and non-structural solutions to protect water sources and mitigate water-caused harms;

d/ Restoration of degraded, depleted and polluted water sources;

dd/ Identification of areas and water sources for which priority should be given to the formulation of detailed master plans on one or more of the following contents: water resource regulation, distribution, extraction, use and protection; and prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms;

e/ Other particular contents for each river basin;

5. Solutions, funding, plans and supervision of implementation of the master plan.

Article 17. Organization of the formulation and approval of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins

1. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Construction and related ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees in, organizing the formulation of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins and submit them to the Prime Minister for approval.

2. Integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins shall be put for collection of written opinions of ministries, ministerial-level agencies, provincial-level People’s Committees, river basin organizations, organizations and individuals extracting and using water on a large scale, and other related agencies and organizations before being submitted to competent authorities for approval.

3. Agencies in charge of organizing the formulation of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins may formulate such master plans by themselves or hire consultants to do so.

4. Technical regulations, norms and unit prices for the formulation of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins must comply with regulations of the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

5. The Government shall provide in detail the formulation, appraisal and approval of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins; and promulgate the list of inter-provincial river basins for which the formulation of master plans is required.

Article 18. Announcement, and organization of the implementation of, integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins

1. Within 15 days after an integrated master plan on inter-provincial river basins is approved, its contents shall be announced by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, regularly and continuously posted on its Portal and notified to related ministries, ministerial-level agencies and localities. Provincial-level People’s Committees of localities in river basins stated in integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins shall regularly and continuously post contents of such master plans on their websites. In case such a master plan has contents related to state secrets, it must comply with the law on protection of state secrets.

2. Conditions shall be created for organizations, individuals and residential communities to exercise the right to supervise and propose measures to implement integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins.

3. Information, data and calculation models serving the formulation of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins shall be managed on digital platforms, and updated and connected to the national information system and database on water resources.

4. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall organize the implementation of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins; and update information and data on dossiers of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins to the national information system and database on planning in accordance with the planning law.

Article 19. Review and modification of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins

1. The review of an integrated master plan on inter-provincial river basins must comply with the following provisions:

a/ It shall be reviewed once every 5 years;

b/ The agency in charge of organizing the formulation of the master plan shall organize the review of the master plan;

c/ Results of the review of the master plan shall be reported to the Prime Minister.

2. An integrated master plan on inter-provincial river basins shall be considered and modified in the following cases:

a/ Relevant national water resource strategy, water resource master plan, socio-economic development or national defense and security assurance strategy or plan, or national sectoral master plan having water resource extraction and use contents is modified, leading to a fundamental change in principal contents of the master plan;

b/ Newly formulated national key projects and works affect water resources;

c/ There are changes in natural conditions that greatly affect water resources;

d/ Related ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees request the modification of functional zoning of water sources; addition, scale adjustment or removal from the master plan, of dams, reservoirs, facilities for water regulation and storage and water source development, or other minor modifications.

3. The Prime Minister shall decide to modify integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins, except the case specified in Clause 4 of this Article in which the Prime Minister decides on power decentralization.

4. In case of making minor modifications of contents on functional zoning of water sources; addition, adjustment or removal from an integrated master plan on inter-provincial river basins, of dams, reservoirs, facilities for water regulation and storage and water source development or making other minor modifications without leading to substantial changes in principal contents of the master plan, the Prime Minister shall decide to empower the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment to approve such modifications and report implementation results to the Prime Minister.

5. The formulation, collection of opinions, appraisal, announcement and organization of the modification of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins are the same as the formulation of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins under Article 17 of this Law, except the case of minor modifications specified in Clause 4 of this Article.

6. The Government shall detail this Article.

Article 20. Plans on extraction, use and protection of water resources, and prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms in provincial master plans

A plan on extraction, use and protection of water resources, and prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms in a provincial master plan must have contents specified in the planning law and the following contents:

1. Evaluation of quantity and quality of water sources in the province; current status of protection, extraction and use of water resources, protection of water generation sources, prevention, control and remediation of water-caused harms, and discharge of wastewater into water sources;

2. Forecasting of water demand during the period of the master plan;

3. Orientations for investment in building a water resource monitoring network in the province;

4. Identification of dams, reservoirs, facilities for water regulation and storage and development of small- and medium-sized water sources.

 

Chapter III

PROTECTION OF WATER RESOURCES AND RESTORATION OF WATER SOURCES

Article 21. Protection of surface water sources

The protection of surface water sources covers the following main activities:

1. Managing water source protection corridors;

2. Maintaining minimum flows in rivers and streams; ensuring flow circulation;

3. Preventing and controlling water source degradation, depletion and pollution and restoring degraded, depleted and polluted water sources; improving the carrying capacity of surface water sources;

4. Protecting surface water sources that have the functions of regulating and supplying water and preventing and controlling inundation; and water sources that have the functions of protecting and conserving religious and belief activities, cultural values and biodiversity and facilitating tourism development;

5. Protecting and developing water generation sources;

6. Protecting the surface water environment in accordance with the law on environmental protection.

Article 22. Water source functions

1. Water sources have one or more of the following basic functions:

a/ Supplying water for domestic use;

b/ Supplying water for agricultural production and aquaculture;

c/ Supplying water for industrial production and business and service provision activities;

d/ Supplying water for hydropower generation;

dd/ Facilitating the conservation of religious and belief activities and cultural values;

e/ Facilitating inland waterway and maritime navigation;

g/ Creating environmental landscapes; facilitating tourism development; protecting the development of aquatic ecosystems; protecting and conserving biodiversity; and serving flood retention and drainage.

2. Water source functions serve as one of the bases for selecting solutions for water source protection, and rehabilitation and restoration of degraded, depleted and polluted water sources; and for deciding on acceptance, approval and licensing of projects that discharge wastewater into water sources in accordance with the law on environmental protection.

3. Water source functions shall be determined based on the current status of and demand for water extraction and use of sectors and localities, requirements on protection and conservation of religious and belief activities, cultural values, biodiversity and aquatic ecosystems, creation of environmental landscapes, flood retention and drainage, and supply capacity of water sources.

4. Surface water sources are subject to functional zoning under regulations of the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment so as to take measures to protect water sources.

5. The functional zoning of surface water sources shall be identified in integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins, for inter-provincial surface water sources, and in provincial master plans, for intra-provincial surface water sources.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall organize the review of water source functions in the course of reviewing integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins; provincial-level People’s Committees shall organize the review of water source functions in provincial master plans. In case no master plan is available or the existing master plan does not state water source functions, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall determine and announce water source functions for inter-provincial surface water sources, and provincial-level People’s Committees shall determine and announce water source functions for intra-provincial surface water sources.

6. Water source functions shall be considered and adjusted in the following cases:

a/ There is a change in requirements for protection of water sources serving the socio-economic development;

b/ There is a major change in the supply capacity of water sources without remedial measures.

7. Wastewater discharged into surface water sources must attain environmental technical regulations on wastewater conformable to water source functions and wastewater discharge must comply with the law on environmental protection.

Article 23. Water source protection corridors

1. Water source protection corridors shall be established to protect the stability of banks and prevent and control encroachment on land areas along water sources; prevent and control activities that are likely to pollute or degrade water sources; protect the development of aquatic ecosystems and natural fauna and flora species in areas along water sources; and protect and conserve religious and belief activities, cultural values and biodiversity and facilitate tourism development related to water sources.

2. Water sources for which it is required to establish protection corridors include:

a/ Hydropower and hydraulic dams and reservoirs in rivers and streams;

b/ Lakes/reservoirs in rivers and streams other than those specified at Point a of this Clause;

c/ Lakes, ponds and lagoons included in the list of lakes, ponds and lagoons not permitted for leveling;

d/ Rivers, streams, canals and ditches that serve as water supply sources or water drainage systems or are important to socio-economic development and environmental protection activities;

dd/ Water sources that have the functions of protecting and conserving religious and belief activities, cultural values and biodiversity, and facilitating tourism development other than those specified at Point c of this Clause.

3. Provincial-level People’s Committees shall organize the formulation, announcement and modification of the list of water sources for which it is required to establish water source protection corridors; approve and adjust the scope of water source protection corridors, and plans and options for planting boundary markers of water source protection corridors.

4. The scope of water source protection corridors shall be shown on cadastral maps.

5. Water source protection corridors shall be announced and managed in accordance with this Law and the land law; for the cases specified at Point c, Clause 6 of this Article, they must also comply with the laws on hydraulic work, dikes, and inland waterway navigation.

6. The determination of the scope of water source protection corridors and planting of boundary markers of water source protection corridors are as follows:

a/ Organizations in charge of managing and operating dams and reservoirs specified at Point a, Clause 2 of this Article; and organizations assigned to manage lakes/reservoirs in rivers and streams specified at Point b, and the lakes, ponds and lagoons specified at Points c and dd, Clause 2 of this Article shall submit a proposal on the scope of water source protection corridors to provincial-level People’s Committees for approval; and plant boundary markers and organize the handover of boundary markers to provincial-level People’s Committees;

b/ Provincial-level People’s Committees shall organize the determination of the scope of water source protection corridors and planting of boundary markers of water source protection corridors in case there is no organization assigned the management and operation tasks;

c/ For hydraulic dams and reservoirs, canals and ditches belonging to hydraulic structures, the scope and boundary markers of water source protection corridors shall be determined based on markers indicating the scope of protection of hydraulic structures.

In case rivers, streams, canals or ditches have their protection corridor boundary markers also serving as boundary markers of flow protection corridors or boundary markers of dike protection corridors, boundary markers of flow protection corridors or boundary markers of dike protection corridors shall be used in accordance with the law on inland waterway navigation or the law on dikes, respectively;

d/ Provincial-level People’s Committees shall assign boundary markers of water source protection corridors to district- or commune-level People’s Committees for management and protection.

7. Agencies, organizations, residential communities, households and individuals that live or carry out production, business and service activities in water source protection corridors must satisfy the following requirements:

a/ Neither causing landslides on banks of rivers, streams, canals, ditches, lakes/reservoirs, ponds or lagoons nor affecting the stability and safety of rivers, streams, canals, ditches, lakes/reservoirs, ponds or lagoons;

b/ Not affecting water source protection corridors approved by competent state agencies;

c/ Taking measures to protect water resources in accordance with law.

8. It is not permitted to build, or expand the scale of, hospitals, infectious disease examination and treatment establishments, cemeteries, waste landfills, hazardous chemical production establishments and production and processing establishments generating hazardous wastes within water source protection corridors. For operating establishments which pollute water sources, it is required to take solutions in accordance with the law on environmental protection.

9. The Government shall detail this Article, provide the determination of the scope of water source protection corridors, promulgate regulations on water sources for which it is required to plant boundary markers of protection corridors, and provide the planting of boundary markers of water source protection corridors.

Article 24. Minimum flows

1. Cases in which the determination of minimum flows is required:

a/ Rivers and streams having large water-diversion facilities, dams, reservoirs or water extraction facilities that are likely to affect the people’s livelihood, socio-economic development and aquatic ecosystems.

Based on socio-economic development resources and conditions in localities, importance of water sources, disaster prevention and control and water source protection requirements, the competent agencies specified in Clauses 6 and 7 of this Article shall decide on order of priority and locations where it is necessary to maintain the minimum flow of each river or stream for which the minimum flow needs to be determined.

b/ Dams and reservoirs built in rivers and streams, except dams and reservoirs already put into operation for which it is impossible to adjust or add work items for minimum flow discharge.

2. Minimum flow serves as one of bases for consideration in the course of appraisal and approval of:

a/ Water resource master plans; technical and specialized master plans that have contents on water resource extraction and use; plans on water resource extraction, use and protection and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation in provincial master plans;

b/ Procedures for operation of reservoirs and inter-reservoirs in river basins;

c/ Plans on regulation and distribution of water resources in river basins; and restoration of degraded, depleted and polluted water sources;

d/ Projects on construction of dams and reservoirs in rivers and streams; and projects involving water diversion activities;

dd/ Registration and licensing of the water resource extraction;

e/ Projects directly related to the maintenance and assurance of minimum flows in rivers and streams.

3. The determination of minimum flows must adhere to the following principles:

a/ Being performed for each specific position in a river or stream and ensuring the representativeness and systematicity in a river basin;

b/ Ensuring fairness, rationality, harmony of interests and equality among entities extracting and using water resources, and between localities in upstream and downstream areas;

c/ Ensuring conformity with characteristics and functions of water sources, flow regimes of rivers and streams, topographic characteristics, water demand, and role of rivers and streams in the river system; ensuring suitability to the scale and mode of extraction and the reservoir operation and regulation capacity;

d/ Ensuring conformity with international agreements or treaties on water resources with countries sharing water sources to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

4. Bases for determining the minimum flow:

a/ Hydrological characteristics, flow regime and functions of water sources; current status and demand for water resource extraction and use;

b/ Requirements for water resource protection, and prevention of water resource degradation, depletion and pollution; protection and conservation of aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity; disaster prevention and control; and national defense and security assurance, and other requirements related to water resource protection;

c/ Scale and scope of impacts, mode of extraction and water regulation capacity for dams and reservoirs;

d/ International agreements and treaties on water resources with countries sharing water sources to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

5. Minimum flows shall be determined in integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins, for inter-provincial and transboundary rivers and streams, and in provincial master plans, for intra-provincial rivers and streams specified at Point a, Clause 1 of this Article.

In case no master plan is available or the existing master plan has no content on determination of minimum flows, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall determine and announce minimum flows for inter-provincial or transboundary rivers and streams; provincial-level People’s Committees shall determine and announce minimum flows for intra-provincial rivers and streams.

6. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has the following responsibilities:

a/ To assume the prime responsibility for determining and adjusting positions and minimum flow values on inter-provincial and transboundary rivers and streams and collect opinions of related ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees before making decisions; and announce minimum flows on inter-provincial and transboundary rivers and streams;

b/ To approve and announce minimum flows in downstream areas of the dams and reservoirs specified at Point b, Clause 1 of this Article that fall within its competence to license the extraction of water resources.

7. Provincial-level People’s Committees have the following responsibilities:

a/ To assume the prime responsibility for determining and adjusting the positions and minimum flow values on intra-provincial rivers and streams and collect opinions of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and related agencies before making decisions; and announce minimum flows on intra-provincial rivers and streams;

b/ To approve and announce minimum flows in downstream areas of dams and reservoirs specified at Point b, Clause 1 of this Article that fall under their competence to register and license water resource extraction.

8. Organizations and individuals in charge of managing and operating dams and reservoirs specified at Point b, Clause 1 of this Article shall determine and propose minimum flows in downstream areas of such dams or reservoirs, which shall be shown in registration declaration forms or dossiers of application for surface water extraction licenses, and submit them to competent authorities for approval.

9. The determination and adjustment of minimum flows in the cases specified in Clause 1 of this Article must comply with regulations of the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

The review and adjustment of minimum flows shall be carried out once every 5 years or when modification(s) is/are made to master plans’ contents related to water resource extraction and use; or when new water extraction projects or facilities are formed, leading to a major change in the flow regime on rivers and streams; or when there are changes in natural conditions that greatly affect water sources.

Article 25. Ensuring flow circulation

The performance of following activities must ensure flow circulation in accordance with this Law and other relevant laws:

1. Exploring and extracting minerals in rivers, streams, canals and ditches;

2. Building bridges, piers or other structures that partition or cross rivers, streams, canals or ditches;

3. Laying pipelines or cables across rivers, streams, canals or ditches; laying rafts in rivers; or other activities.

Article 26. Protection of quality of domestic water supply sources

1. Organizations and individuals shall protect the quality of domestic water supply sources. Persons who detect acts of polluting domestic water supply sources shall promptly notify them to People’s Committees of the nearest places.

2. Provincial-level People’s Committees have the following responsibilities:

a/ To control activities that are likely to pollute domestic water supply sources;

b/ To determine, and organize the announcement of, sanitary protection zones of domestic water supply sources on the basis of proposals of organizations and individuals extracting water resources for domestic use under regulations of the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment;

c/ To organize the monitoring and announce information on the quality of domestic water supply sources, and give warnings about abnormal quality of domestic water supply sources in their localities;

d/ To direct district- and commune-level People’s Committees to take measures to monitor, supervise and protect the quality of domestic water supply sources in localities.

3. District- and commune-level People’s Committees shall take measures to protect the quality of domestic water supply sources in their localities.

4. The Ministry of Construction shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Public Security, other ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees in, drawing up a list of domestic water supply facilities of extreme importance, and submit it to the Prime Minister for approval.

5. The Ministry of Public Security shall formulate, and organize the implementation of, plans on protection of the domestic water supply facilities of extreme importance specified in Clause 4 of this Article.

6. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with provincial-level People’s Committees in, determining and announcing sanitary protection zones of domestic water supply sources, for works with sanitary protection zones of domestic water supply sources located in two or more provinces and centrally run cities.

Article 27. Protection of quality of water sources in agricultural production, aquaculture, mining and other activities

1. Organizations and individuals that use fertilizers, pesticides, aquatic veterinary drugs, aquatic animal feed, aquaculture environment treatment products and other chemicals in crop production, livestock production and aquaculture shall comply with law and may not pollute water sources.

2. Establishments engaged in production, business, service provision, mining and other activities may not discharge wastewater not yet treated up to environmental technical regulations into surface water and seawater sources. In case of using dangerous chemicals, they shall take safety assurance measures to prevent leakage of chemicals into, or pollution of, water sources.

3. Organizations and individuals that use water resources for inland waterway navigation, entertainment, tourism, healthcare, convalescence, scientific research and other purposes may not pollute water sources.

4. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall perform the state management of the use of fertilizers and pesticides in agricultural production activities in accordance with law, ensuring that water sources are not polluted and water source functions are not affected.

5. Provincial-level People’s Committees shall consider and decide on the repurposing of pits for extraction of minerals, soil and construction materials after the extraction stops in order to build reservoirs for water regulation, storage and supply and landscape creation, provided such areas fully satisfy the conditions specified in this Law, and the laws on investment, land, environmental protection, and minerals, and update and add them to the list of intra-provincial surface water sources and the list of lakes/reservoirs, ponds and lagoons not permitted for leveling.

Article 28. Protection of water sources that have the functions of protecting and conserving religious and belief activities, cultural values and biodiversity and facilitating tourism development

1. Water sources that have the functions of protecting and conserving religious and belief activities, cultural values and biodiversity and facilitating tourism development include:

a/ Water sources associated with important wetlands or biodiversity conservation areas and water sources of high biodiversity values in accordance with the biodiversity law;

b/ Water sources associated with religious and belief activities, scenic spots, historical-cultural relics already ranked or zoned for protection in accordance with the laws on belief and religion and cultural heritages and other relevant laws;

c/ Water sources associated with natural heritages in accordance with the law on environmental protection.

2. Activities of water resource extraction and use and wastewater discharge into water sources and activities within water source protection corridors specified in Clause 1 of this Article shall be strictly controlled and supervised, ensuring that they do not affect water resource functions of protecting and conserving religious and belief activities, cultural values and biodiversity and facilitating tourism development.

3. The State shall prioritize the protection and restoration of the water sources specified in Clause 1 of this Article when they are degraded, depleted or polluted.

Article 29. Protection and development of water generation sources

1. Protection and development of water generation sources means forest management, protection and development activities aimed at improving the water retention capacity of soil, preventing and combating soil erosion, landslide, saltwater intrusion and flashfloods, and protecting and developing water sources.

2. The State shall adopt forest protection and development policies, promoting the repurposing of production forests to protection forests under master plans; regulate and allocate revenues from payments for forest environmental services for the protection and development of water generation sources in river basins; and allocate revenues from the extraction of water resources in downstream localities in order to make payment for upstream localities, ensuring fairness and rationality.

3. Organizations and individuals that invest in building reservoirs, implementing projects on mineral extraction and processing and carrying out other activities with the use of water resources, thus affecting forest areas, shall fulfill obligations in accordance with the forestry law.

4. Organizations and individuals that extract and use water resources shall pay for forest environmental services in accordance with the forestry law.

Article 30. Groundwater extraction thresholds

1. Groundwater extraction thresholds serve as one of the bases for consideration in the process of appraisal and decision/approval of:

a/ Water resource master plans; provincial master plans and technical and specialized master plans that have the contents on water resource extraction and use; regulations on areas where groundwater extraction is banned or restricted;

b/ Plans on regulation and distribution of water resources in river basins; and restoration of degraded, depleted and polluted groundwater sources;

c/ Licensing of groundwater exploration and extraction;

d/ Projects and solutions for artificial recharge of groundwater.

2. Groundwater extraction thresholds shall be determined based on water source characteristics; current status of and demand for water resource extraction and use; groundwater source protection and socio-economic development requirements.

3. The determination of groundwater extraction thresholds must satisfy the following requirements:

a/ Being performed for each area or aquifer;

b/ Ensuring the balance between the extracted water amount and the annually recharged water amount for aquifers and the relations with related aquifers;

c/ Protecting groundwater sources, and harmonizing lawful rights and interests of related organizations, individuals and localities.

4. The Government shall detail this Article.

  Article 31. Protection of groundwater

1. Organizations and individuals shall fill and seal wells that are damaged and no longer usable or not planned for further use in the following cases:

a/ They drill or dig wells for groundwater survey, assessment, exploration and extraction;

b/ They carry out drilling for geological survey or treatment of foundations of construction works or construction of underground works;

c/ They carry out drilling for geological exploration, mineral or petroleum exploration and extraction, and implement other projects.

2. Organizations and individuals shall satisfy groundwater protection requirements and comply with the law on environmental protection in the following cases:

a/ They design and construct drilling, digging and experimentation works under groundwater survey, assessment, exploration and extraction projects;

b/ They carry out geological survey or treatment of foundations of construction works or construction of underground works; or carry out geological exploration, mineral or petroleum exploration and extraction;

c/ They pump for dewatering mines or foundation pits, or lowering groundwater levels, and carry out other drilling, digging and experimentation activities.

3. Groundwater survey, prospecting and exploration drilling and extraction drilling shall be carried out by organizations and individuals that possess groundwater drilling practice licenses.

4. Based on groundwater protection plans, provincial-level People’s Committees shall organize the determination, and announcement and modification of lists, of areas where groundwater extraction is banned or restricted; and decide to remove from such lists the areas where groundwater sources have been restored.

5. The determination of areas where groundwater extraction is banned or restricted must ensure harmony of lawful rights and interests of related organizations and individuals and will be considered to be carried out in:

a/ Areas where groundwater levels have continuously deteriorated and are in danger of exceeding the groundwater extraction thresholds;

b/ Areas where land collapse or subsidence has occurred or is likely to occur;

c/ Areas where groundwater sources are prone to saltwater intrusion.

6. Organizations and individuals that have been granted licenses for groundwater extraction in areas where groundwater extraction is restricted may continue extracting groundwater until the expiration of their licenses and may have their licenses extended, modified or re-granted if fully satisfying the law-specified conditions therefor provided that groundwater volumes to be extracted do not exceed those stated in their licenses.

7. Provincial-level People’s Committees shall promulgate, and organize the implementation of, groundwater protection plans. Groundwater protection plans shall be promulgated within 3 years from the effective date of this Law and shall be reviewed and modified once every 5 years or irregularly modified to meet socio-economic development and water source protection requirements.

Groundwater protection plans must identify degraded, depleted or polluted areas and aquifers that need protection and restoration; areas that need to be zoned off or removed from lists of areas where groundwater extraction is banned or restricted; groundwater extraction options; areas where artificial recharge of groundwater is needed; and solutions to protect groundwater quality.

8. The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment shall promulgate national technical regulations on well filling and sealing specified in Clause 1 of this Article; provide groundwater protection in activities specified in Clause 2 of this Article; and provide the formulation and modification of groundwater protection plans specified in Clause 7 of this Article.

9. The Government shall detail Clauses 3 and 5 of this Article; and provide the determination, announcement and adjustment of areas where groundwater extraction is banned or restricted.

Article 32. Prevention and control of water degradation, depletion and pollution

1. The construction of urban centers, concentrated residential areas, tourist areas, amusement parks, hi-tech parks, industrial parks, economic zones, export processing zones, cottage industry zones and craft villages must take into account the carrying capacity of surface water sources and supply capacity of water sources and may not be carried out within the scope of water source protection corridors in river sections where landslide has occurred or is likely to occur.

2. Organizations and individuals engaged in activities that cause land collapse or subsidence, or water degradation, depletion, pollution or salinization shall take remedial measures; if causing damage, they shall pay compensations and be held responsible in accordance with law.

3. Wastewater generated from production, business and service provision activities, urban centers and concentrated residential areas shall be collected, treated and controlled, and measures shall be taken to prevent, respond to and remediate water pollution incidents in accordance with the law on environmental protection.

4. If organizations and individuals engaged in mineral extraction or work construction carry out activities of pumping for dewatering that cause lower groundwater levels or land collapse or subsidence shall immediately stop such activities and take remedial measures; if causing damage, they shall pay compensations and be held responsible in accordance with law.

5. Water source protection measures shall be taken for wastewater storage ponds and reservoirs, and wastewater and waste storage areas in accordance with the law on environmental protection so as to avoid water pollution.

Article 33. Seawater pollution prevention and control

1. Organizations and individuals that operate at sea are required to have plans, equipment and human resources to prevent and limit seawater pollution.

If causing seawater pollution, they shall promptly handle, remediate and notify the pollution upon the detection thereof to competent state agencies; if causing damage, they shall pay compensations in accordance with the law on environmental protection.

2. Waste sources generated from activities in coastal areas and on islands and offshore activities shall be controlled and treated up to law-specified standards and technical regulations before being discharged into the sea.

Article 34. Restoration of degraded, depleted or polluted water sources and response to and remediation of water pollution incidents

1. The restoration of degraded, depleted or polluted water sources shall be carried out as follows:

a/ To make a list of degraded, depleted or polluted water sources that need restoration;

b/ To formulate plans, programs and schemes on restoration of degraded, depleted or polluted water sources; to prioritize the restoration of dried-up, stagnant or seriously polluted rivers and river sections listed as degraded, depleted or polluted water sources that need restoration; to allocate resources for implementation of such plans, programs and schemes;

c/ To adjust operation modes, additionally construct or upgrade works for water regulation and storage; to construct dams, reservoirs, pumping stations and aqueducts, and carry out dredging in order to raise water, supply water, restore flows, improve the circulation capacity of flows and quantity and quality of water sources, and artificially recharge groundwater sources; to treat environmental pollution; to treat and control wastewater; to ensure circular water use and water reuse.

2. Based on the approved master plan on water resources, extent and scope of water degradation, depletion and pollution in river basins, and water source extraction, use and protection requirements, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with related ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees in, drawing up lists of degraded, depleted and polluted water sources that need restoration; formulating and submitting plans, programs and schemes on restoration of degraded, depleted and polluted water sources to the Prime Minister for approval.

3. Ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees that invest in projects on construction of dams and reservoirs on rivers on the list of water sources that need restoration specified at Point a, Clause 1 of this Article shall collect opinions of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and river basin organizations in localities where such projects are to be implemented on water source restoration before competent agencies approve investment policy for or decide on investment in such projects.

4. Organizations and individuals that participate in the restoration of degraded, depleted and polluted water sources are entitled to incentives and support specified in Articles 73 and 74 of this Law and other relevant regulations.

5. Funds for the restoration of degraded, depleted and polluted water sources shall be allocated from the state budget, funding sources for economic and environmental protection non-business activities, development investment funds, environmental protection funds, and payments of water degradation, depletion or pollution causers, and other contributions of organizations and individuals.

6. The response to, and remediation of, water pollution incidents must comply with the law on environmental protection. In case of occurrence of a transboundary water pollution incident, the following provisions shall also be complied with:

a/ Provincial-level People’s Committees of localities where transboundary water sources are located shall promptly handle and report to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on water pollution incidents occurring in their localities;

b/ The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and related ministries, river basin organizations and agencies in, coordinating with competent authorities in countries where transboundary water pollution incidents occur in order to promptly take measures to prevent, and remediate consequences of, such incidents in accordance with international law, and international agreements and treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

 

Chapter IV

REGULATION, DISTRIBUTION, EXTRACTION AND USE OF WATER RESOURCES

Section 1

REGULATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF WATER RESOURCES

Article 35. Regulation and distribution of water resources

1. The regulation and distribution of water resources for purposes of extraction and use of water resources shall be based on water resource master plans, water source scenarios, current status, demand and quotas for the extraction of water resources, taking into account impacts of climate change and results of the accounting of water resources, and must adhere to the following principles:

a/ Ensuring water security, and fairness and rationality among organizations and individuals that extract and use water resources in the same river basin or between upstream areas and downstream areas;

b/ Giving priority in terms of volume and quality of water supplied for domestic use; contributing to ensuring food security, energy security and other essential needs of the people.

In case of drought or water shortage, it is required to base on principles and order of priority determined in the integrated master plan on inter-provincial river basins to limit the distribution of water resources for water-intensive and non-urgent activities and prioritize the supply of water for domestic use and water-efficient activities;

c/ Maintaining the minimum flow in rivers and streams and ensuring the groundwater extraction threshold;

d/ Combining or alternating surface water extraction and groundwater and rainwater extraction; and increasing rainwater storage.

2. The regulation and distribution of water resources through regulating the operation regime of dams, reservoirs and water extraction facilities and coordinating water extraction and use activities in river basins and aquifers aim to optimize socio-economic and environmental benefits brought about by water sources toward regulating and distributing water sources by a decision support system.

3. A decision support system shall be established and operated on the basis of hydrometeorological and water resource monitoring and forecast data, current status of surface water and groundwater sources, water resource extraction and use demand, and a set of digital models developed and operated on each river basin and in aquifers in each region.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall organize the establishment, management and operation of the decision support system. Organizations and individuals are encouraged to participate in establishing the system and providing decision support services on regulation and distribution of water resources but shall comply with Article 70 of this Law.

4. Water source scenarios shall be formulated on the basis of the current status of water sources in river basins, hydrometeorological forecasts and water source developments and must have the following principal contents: current status of surface water and groundwater sources, current status of water storage in reservoirs in river basins, water levels in aquifers; water resource extraction and use demand; forecast trends in rainfall, runoff and stored water volume in reservoirs, and water levels in aquifers during the year; and evaluation of severity of drought and water shortage in river basins.

5. Annually, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with related ministries, ministerial-level agencies, provincial-level People’s Committees, river basin organizations and other organizations in, formulating and announcing scenarios of water sources in river basins on the list of inter-provincial river basins subject to formulation of integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins. Based on announced water source scenarios, and current status and developments of water sources, and hydrometeorological forecasts, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall decide on updating of such water source scenarios.

6. Based on water source scenarios and water resource management, extraction and use requirements, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Construction and provincial-level People’s Committees in inter-provincial river basins shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, direct the formulation of water resource extraction and use plans in conformity with water source scenarios.

7. Based on water source scenarios, for river basins where drought or water shortage is forecasted to occur, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with related ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees in, formulating, and organizing the implementation of, water resource regulation and distribution plans in adherence to the principles specified in Clause 1 of this Article. 

8. The Government shall detail this Article.

Article 36. Regulation and distribution of water resources upon occurrence of drought or water shortage

1. When drought or water shortage occurs, based on the practical situation and forecast results of drought or water shortage, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with other ministries, ministerial-level agencies, provincial-level People’s Committees, river basin organizations and other related organizations in, reviewing, updating and implementing water resource regulation and distribution plans specified in Clause 7, Article 35 of this Law; and shall report cases of occurrence of severe drought or water shortage on a large scale to the Prime Minister for the latter to make consideration and decision on water resource regulation and distribution plans.

2. Based on water resource regulation and distribution plans, ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, take measures to respond to and mitigate damage and comply with the following provisions:

a/ The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Construction and other related ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees in, regulating water sources for domestic use, agricultural production, industrial production, hydraulic work, hydropower generation and other water resource extraction and use needs; and decide on the restriction of distribution of water resources for water-intensive and non-urgent activities;

b/ The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall direct water resource regulation and distribution in the system of hydraulic structures in accordance with the law on hydraulic work;

c/ The Ministry of Industry and Trade shall direct the regulation and operation of hydropower reservoirs;

d/ Provincial-level People’s Committee chairpersons shall decide on the use of existing surface water and groundwater sources and backup water supply facilities in areas under their management in order to proactively respond to water shortage, ensuring water supply for domestic use and other essential water use needs; and direct the mobilization of all resources for implementation of measures to address water shortage in their localities.

3. Organizations and individuals shall take measures to reduce the volume of extracted water and join local administrations in taking measures to respond to and address water shortage in their localities.

Article 37. River basin water diversion

1. Projects involving water diversion or digging of rivers, canals or ditches for water diversion that greatly affect socio-economic development, the environment and the people’s lives must have their water diversion plans approved by the state management agency in charge of water resources. The approval shall be based on the following grounds:

a/ The national water resource strategy and national environmental protection strategy;

b/ Water resource master plans, provincial master plans and other relevant master plans; socio-economic development plans of localities and sectors related to the water resource extraction and use in river basins;

c/ Supply capacity of water sources, demand for water resource extraction and use of donor basins and receiving basins;

d/ Scale of projects involving water diversion activities; extent of impacts of water diversion on water resource extraction and use, prevention and control of flood, erosion of river beds, banks and plains, and saltwater intrusion, and impacts on socio-economic development and the environment.

2. Water diversion plans shall be approved before competent agencies approve project the investment policy for or decide on investment in projects. The written approval of water diversion plans serves as one of grounds for considering and approving the investment policy for or deciding on investment in projects.

3. The Government shall detail this Article and provide the order, procedures and competence for approving water diversion plans.

Article 38. Reservoir and inter-reservoir operation procedures

1. Dams and reservoirs must have their reservoir operation procedures approved by competent agencies in accordance with the regulations on dam and reservoir safety management before storing water.

2. Dams and reservoirs on the list specified at Point a, Clause 7 of this Article shall be operated according to inter-reservoir operation procedures.

3. Reservoir and inter-reservoir operation procedures must meet requirements on assurance of work safety, flood and inundation prevention and control and water supply for downstream areas and adhere to the principles specified in Clause 1, Article 35 of this Law.

4. Reservoir and inter-reservoir operation procedures shall be formulated and promulgated for the purpose of real-time reservoir operation in order to ensure the safety for works and downstream areas and optimize the use of water sources for use purposes and socio-economic and environmental benefits to be brought about by water sources.

Organizations and individuals that manage and operate dams and reservoirs shall carry out research and make synchronous investment in technical infrastructure solutions in order to satisfy conditions and requirements on real-time reservoir and inter-reservoir operation.

5. Localities, organizations and individuals are encouraged to participate in the construction or contribution of funds for the construction and operation of a decision support system for reservoir and inter-reservoir operation in order to ensure economical and efficient water use and comply with Article 70 of this Law.

6. Procedures for inter-reservoir operation in river basins shall be put for collecting opinions of ministries, ministerial-level agencies, provincial-level People’s Committees, river basin organizations and other related organizations before being submitted to competent authorities for approval.

7. Responsibilities for formulating reservoir and inter-reservoir operation procedures are specified as follows:

a/ The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall draw up a list of dams and reservoirs that are required to be operated according to inter-reservoir operation procedures; assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with related ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees in, formulating and modifying procedures for inter-reservoir operation in river basins, and submit them to the Prime Minister for approval.

In case ministries, ministerial-level agencies, provincial-level People’s Committees, and dam and reservoir management and operation organizations request the modification of inter-reservoir operation procedures, they shall formulate and send modification plans to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for appraisal and submission to the Prime Minister for approval;

b/ Dam and reservoir management and operation organizations shall formulate and modify reservoir operation procedures before submitting them to competent agencies for approval in accordance with the regulations on dam and reservoir safety management and inter-reservoir operation procedures.

8. When technical infrastructure facilities satisfy real-time reservoir and inter-reservoir operation conditions and requirements, the formulation and modification of real-time inter-reservoir operation procedures must comply with the following provisions:

a/ The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall formulate or modify real-time inter-reservoir operation procedures before submitting them to the Prime Minister for approval.

In case ministries, ministerial-level agencies, provincial-level People’s Committees, and dam and reservoir management and operation organizations request the modification of real-time inter-reservoir operation procedures, they shall formulate and send modification plans to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for appraisal and submission to the Prime Minister for approval;

b/ The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade and provincial-level People’s Committees shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, consider and approve or modify real-time reservoir operation procedures at the request of dam and reservoir management and operation organizations;

c/ Dam and reservoir management and operation organizations are encouraged to develop and apply standards, and research, transfer and apply advanced sciences and technologies for real-time reservoir operation, improvement of water resource extraction and use efficiency, and assurance of safety and water supply for downstream areas.

9. For reservoirs not on the list of dams and reservoirs subject to formulation of procedures for inter-reservoir operation in river basins specified at Point a, Clause 7 of this Article, based on requirements on assurance of safety of dams and reservoirs and minimum flow and prevention and control of flood, inundation, drought and water shortage, and water supply for downstream areas, provincial-level People’s Committees shall draw up a list of dams and reservoirs on rivers and streams in areas under their management and subject to formulation of operation coordination regulations and consult the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment before approving it.

Based on the list of dams and reservoirs in rivers and streams in areas under their management and subject to formulation of operation coordination regulations, provincial-level People’s Committees shall organize the formulation of operation coordination regulations for dams and reservoirs on rivers and streams and consult the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment before promulgating them.

For any of dams and reservoirs on rivers and streams subject to formulation of operation coordination regulations which is located in two or more provinces or centrally run cities, the provincial-level People’s Committee of the downstream locality shall assume the prime responsibility for formulating operation coordination regulations and consult related provincial-level People’s Committees and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment before promulgating them.

10. The Government shall detail Clause 4; Point a, Clause 7; and Clauses 8 and 9, of this Article.

Article 39. Artificial recharge of groundwater

1. The State shall encourage organizations and individuals to study solutions and carry out the artificial recharge of groundwater; prioritize investment in and construction of water storage facilities combined with artificial recharge of groundwater in islands, water-scarce areas and areas specified at Point a, Clause 5, Article 31 of this Law.

2. Artificial recharge of groundwater shall be based on results of the assessment of conformity in terms of water quality and quantity, water retention and storage capacity of groundwater aquifers; water resource extraction and use demand and groundwater protection requirements; assessment of socio-economic and environmental impacts of artificial recharge of groundwater.

3. The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment shall promulgate regulations on artificial recharge of groundwater.

Article 40. Cloud seeding

Cloud seeding, i.e., rainmaking or rainfall increase, shall be based on the water resource extraction and use demand of water-scarce areas and existing conditions for deciding on reasonable measures and scale, and approved by competent state agencies in accordance with the hydrometeorology law.

Section 2

WATER RESOURCE EXTRACTION AND USE

Article 41. General provisions on water resource extraction and use

1. The extraction and use of water resources for domestic use, agricultural production, aquaculture, industrial production, waterway navigation, hydropower generation, hydraulic work, sports, tourism, business, service provision, source generation, saltwater intrusion prevention, landscape creation and other purposes must comply with the principles specified in Article 3 of this Law and the following provisions:

a/ The construction of water resource extraction works, dams, reservoirs, works for water regulation and storage and water source development must conform to water resource master plans, provincial master plans and technical and specialized master plans with water resource extraction and use contents; and supply capacity of water sources;

b/ Water resource extraction and use are subject to the management, supervision, regulation and distribution by the state management agency in charge of water resources;

c/ Water source extraction and use must conform to the supply capacity of water sources and water resource regulation and distribution plans;

d/ Water resource extraction must satisfy requirements on the minimum flow in rivers and streams, groundwater extraction threshold and water resource extraction quota;

dd/ Water resource extraction and use shall be declared, registered and licensed in accordance with this Law.

2. Water resource extraction and use in transboundary rivers and streams must comply with international agreements and treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

Article 42. Rights and obligations of organizations and individuals extracting and using water resources

1. Organizations and individuals extracting and using water resources have the following rights:

a/ To extract and use water resources for domestic use, agricultural production, aquaculture, industrial production, waterway navigation, hydropower generation, hydraulic work, sports, tourism, business, service provision and other purposes in accordance with this Law and other relevant laws;

b/ To benefit from water resource extraction and use;

c/ To have their lawful rights and interests protected by the State in the course of water resource extraction and use;

d/ To convey water through adjacent real estate managed and used by other organizations and individuals in accordance with law;

dd/ To file complaints about or initiate lawsuits against acts infringing upon the right to extract and use water resources and other lawful benefits in accordance with relevant laws;

e/ To request water resource extraction-licensing agencies to suspend for a definite time the validity of water resource extraction licenses;

g/ In case of necessity to reduce the volume of extracted water or suspend for a definite time the validity of a water resource extraction license at the request of a competent state agency, to be entitled to the reduction of the charge for grant of the right to extract water resources in proportion to the number of days and volume of extracted water subject to reduction or suspension;

h/ Other rights provided by law.

2. Organizations and individuals extracting and using water resources have the following obligations:

a/ To protect water resources, and prevent, control and remediate water-caused harms in accordance with this Law and other relevant laws;

b/ To use water for proper purposes and in an economical, efficient and safe manner;

c/ To refrain from obstructing or damaging the lawful extraction and use of water resources by other organizations or individuals;

d/ To protect water sources extracted and used by themselves;

dd/ To perform financial obligations; to pay compensation for damage they cause in the course of water resource extraction and use in accordance with law;

e/ To provide information and data related to water resource extraction and use at the request of competent state agencies; to facilitate basic survey of water resources, and scientific and technological research on water resources;

g/ Before adjusting or adding the water resource extraction scale or use purposes, to obtain permission of competent state agencies, except cases in which registration and licensing are not required under Article 52 of this Law;

h/ To reduce or increase the volume of water extracted or adjust the water operation and extraction regime of their projects at the request of competent state agencies;

i/ To comply with water resource extraction quotas provided by the competent state agency in charge of water resources;

k/ To strictly comply with water resource extraction licenses;

l/ Other obligations provided by law.

Article 43. Extraction of water resources for domestic use

1. Organizations and individuals extracting water resources for production and supply of clean water for domestic use have the following responsibilities:

a/ To apply standards and technical regulations on and operate water supply systems, and work out plans on contingency water supply and plans on prevention of and response to water pollution or water shortage incidents and other incidents in accordance with the regulations on water supply in order to ensure stable, safe and uninterrupted water supply, thereby mitigating water loss and waste;

b/ To provide guidance on sanitary protection zones of domestic water supply sources and control and monitoring of activities in such zones;

c/ To carry out monitoring and supervision of water resource extraction and continuous and periodical automatic monitoring and supervision of quality of extracted water sources under Article 51 of this Law, and connect and transmit data to the national information system and database on water resources.

2. To combine centralized and scattered water supply models in the construction, management and operation of domestic water supply facilities. The construction, management and operation of centralized domestic water supply facilities may not obstruct water extraction by organizations and individuals licensed to extract water resources in water supply service areas.

3. Within the ambit of their tasks and powers, the Ministry of Construction, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Ministry of Health have the following responsibilities:

a/ To modify or supplement water supply contents in master plans related to domestic water supply for urban and rural areas in conformity with water resource master plans;

b/ To promulgate and implement standards and technical regulations in order to ensure safety, economical and efficient use of water and minimize water loss; to promulgate national technical regulations on quality of clean water for domestic use; to propose mechanisms and policies to support the sustainable and safe development of household-scale water supply in rural areas;

c/ To direct the formulation of plans on contingency water supply and plans on prevention of and response to water pollution or water shortage incidents and other incidents.

4. Provincial-level People’s Committees shall organize the implementation of emergency measures to ensure domestic water supply in case of drought, water shortage or serious water pollution incidents causing water shortage.

5. The Government shall provide the production, supply and consumption of domestic water.

Article 44. Extraction of water resources for agricultural production

1. Organizations and individuals extracting water resources for agricultural production have the following responsibilities:

a/ To take measures to save water, prevent and control soil acidification, salinization and erosion, and avoid causing water pollution;

b/ To comply with procedures for operation of reservoirs and inter-reservoirs, and operation of hydraulic structures and systems under Article 38 of this Law and the law on hydraulic work;

c/ To operate reservoirs and hydraulic structures and systems while ensuring the performance of design tasks, flow circulation and maintenance of the minimum flow under Article 24 of this Law, causing no water stagnation or pollution; to monitor and supervise water resource extraction under Article 51 of this Law; to economically use water, minimize water loss and waste, improve water use efficiency, and combine water source improvement, restoration and development.

2. Within the ambit of their tasks and powers, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and provincial-level People’s Committees have the following responsibilities:

a/ To review and modify procedures for operation of reservoirs and hydraulic structures and systems in order to ensure economical and efficient water use for multiple purposes, prevent water loss and waste, and ensure the flow circulation and prevent water stagnation and pollution;

b/ To direct the restructuring of crop seasons, crops and livestock in conformity with the supply capacity of water sources, water source scenarios, and water resource regulation and distribution plans specified in Articles 35 and 36 of this Law; to apply advanced, economical and efficient irrigation technology.

Article 45. Extraction of water resources for hydropower generation

1. The extraction of water resources for hydropower generation must ensure integrated and multi-purpose water use, except small-scale water extraction; help reduce flood and supply water for downstream areas at the request of competent agencies; and meet dam and reservoir safety requirements.

2. Organizations and individuals extracting water resources for hydropower generation shall comply with reservoir and inter-reservoir operation procedures specified in Article 38 of this Law and the law on dam and reservoir safety.

3. The Ministry of Industry and Trade shall direct the review and modification of hydropower reservoir operation procedures specified in Article 38 of this Law in order to ensure safe, economical, efficient and multi-purpose water use, flood and inundation prevention and control; and maintain the minimum flow under Article 24 of this Law and supply water for downstream areas.

Article 46. Extraction of water resources for salt production and aquaculture

1. The State shall promote investment in the extraction of seawater for salt production. Organizations and individuals extracting seawater for salt production may not cause saltwater intrusion, adversely affecting agricultural production and the environment.

2. Organizations and individuals extracting water resources for aquaculture may neither cause water degradation, depletion or pollution, block water flows, damage works on rivers, obstruct waterway navigation, or salinization of water sources.

3. Aquaculture on lake beds may not affect dam and reservoir safety, water source quality, flood prevention and control tasks and water supply for downstream areas of dams or reservoirs.

Article 47. Extraction of water resources for industrial production, mineral extraction and processing and other purposes

1. Organizations and individuals extracting water resources for industrial production and mineral extraction and processing shall take measures to collect and treat used water up to national standards or technical regulations on wastewater before discharging it into water sources.

2. Organizations and individuals extracting and using water resources for scientific research, health, sports, entertainment, tourism, source generation, salinization prevention, landscape creation and other purposes shall use water in a reasonable, economical and efficient manner, and may not cause water degradation, depletion or pollution, flow obstruction and other adverse impacts on water sources.

Article 48. Use of water sources for waterway navigation

1. The State shall encourage the use of water sources for the development of waterway navigation.

2. Waterway navigation activities may not cause water pollution, block water flow, cause damage to or erosion of river beds, banks and plains, canals and ditches. Damage causers shall pay compensation in accordance with law.

3. The construction and operation of waterway navigation infrastructure facilities may not cause water pollution and must conform to the capacity to meet requirements on water level on rivers and streams and requirements on protection of river beds, banks and plains.

Article 49. Use of water sources for other purposes

1. The use of reservoir water surface for business, service provision and solar power generation may not affect dam and reservoir safety, water quality, flood prevention and control task performance and water supply for downstream areas of dams or reservoirs.

2. The use of water surface of rivers, streams, canals and ditches for aquaculture, business and service provision may not cause water pollution, water flow obstruction, or damage to river beds, banks, plains, streams, canals and ditches, and affect other water extraction and use activities.

3. The digging of reservoirs, ponds, rivers, streams, canals and ditches to create spaces for water harvesting and storage and landscape creation must comply with law and may not cause land collapse or subsidence or adversely affect water sources and the environment.

4. The activities specified in this Article must comply with the land law and other relevant laws; and are subject to registration under Article 52 of this Law.

Article 50. Dams and reservoirs and water extraction and use associated with dams and reservoirs

1. The construction of dams and reservoirs on rivers and streams must conform to water resource master plans, provincial master plans, and technical and specialized master plans that have contents on water resource extraction and use, and ensure the achievement of multiple purposes, proactive water storage, and water source regulation, distribution, restoration and development.

2. The construction, management and operation of dams and reservoirs and management of the extraction and use of water sources from reservoirs must ensure dam and reservoir safety.

3. The construction of dams and reservoirs on rivers and streams must meet the following requirements:

a/ Conformity with flood prevention and control standards and other relevant technical requirements specified by the law on disaster prevention and control; integrated and multi-purpose use of water sources; and combination of the rehabilitation and restoration of degraded, depleted and polluted water sources;

b/ General designs and layouts of key works must include work items to ensure the maintenance of the minimum flow under Article 24 of this Law; increased water discharge into downstream areas at the request of competent agencies; use of the inactive storage capacity of reservoirs in case of drought, severe water shortage; migration of fish species; and navigation of waterway means of transport;

c/ The construction of hydraulic dams and reservoirs must also comply with the law on hydraulic work.

4. The construction and operation of reservoirs not on rivers and streams may not cause adverse impacts on water sources and the environment; may not affect historical-cultural relics and scenic spots; and must comply with regulations on water drainage to prevent artificial waterlogging.

5. The extraction and use of water sources from reservoirs and activities in water source protection corridors must meet requirements on water source protection, extraction and use and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation in accordance with this Law. The assurance of safety of dams and reservoirs in the construction, management and operation thereof must comply with regulations on dam and reservoir safety management.

The operation of dams and reservoirs on rivers and streams must also meet requirements on flood reduction for downstream areas, integrated and multi-purpose use of water sources, combination of water source rehabilitation and restoration, and landscape creation, and adhere to the principles specified in Articles 35 and 36 of this Law.

6. Organizations and individuals managing and operating dams and reservoirs have the following responsibilities:

a/ To comply with reservoir and inter-reservoir operation procedures; to ensure dam and reservoir safety and the minimum flow and meet requirements on prevention and control of flood and inundation, drought and water shortage, and water supply for downstream areas. Damage causers shall pay compensation in accordance with law;

b/ To abide by reservoir regulation and operation commands of competent state agencies in case of flood, inundation, drought, water shortage or saltwater intrusion and other cases of emergency;

c/ To implement plans on water resource regulation and distribution in river basins; to set reservoir capacity to improve the capacity for flood reduction and water supply for downstream areas, and rehabilitate and restore water sources at the request of competent state agencies;

d/ To issue notices and warnings to ensure safety for the people and related activities in downstream areas of dams and reservoirs before discharging water to downstream areas in accordance with regulations on dam and reservoir safety management;

dd/ To carry out hydrometeorological monitoring and data connection to the national information system and database on water resources, and calculate and forecast water volumes flowing into reservoirs to serve reservoir and inter-reservoir operation and water resource regulation and distribution in accordance with law; to monitor and supervise water resource extraction under Article 51 of this Law;

e/ To make reports and provide information and data in accordance with this Law and other relevant laws;

g/ To formulate disaster response plans and emergency response plans in accordance with the regulations on disaster prevention and control and dam and reservoir safety management;

h/ To plant boundary markers of water source protection corridors under Article 23 of this Law.

7. Organizations and individuals managing and operating dams and reservoirs are encouraged to hire qualified organizations and individuals to provide decision support services on reservoir and inter-reservoir operation under Article 70 of this Law in order to optimize socio-economic and environmental benefits brought about by water sources.

8. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in, studying and proposing plans to use part of flood prevention capacity above the retention water level of large and important reservoirs in order to improve the capacity to reduce flood for downstream areas upon the occurrence of emergency or abnormal circumstances, and submit them to the Prime Minister for decision.

9. The State shall invest in, and encourage organizations and individuals to construct, works and reservoirs in order to protect, control, rehabilitate, restore and develop water sources, supply and store water, recharge groundwater, divert water to water-scarce areas, inhabited islands and areas greatly affected by climate change, thereby ensuring proactive storage of freshwater and intra-provincial and inter-provincial regulation and distribution of water resources.

Article 51. Monitoring and supervision of water resource extraction

1. Monitoring of water resources covers measurement and estimation of rainfall, flow, water level, and quality of surface water and groundwater. The monitoring shall be carried out on an automatic, continuous and periodic basis and is provided as follows:

a/ The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall organize the establishment and operation of the water resource monitoring network for inter-provincial surface water sources, transboundary surface water sources and groundwater sources, and the hydrometeorological and water environment quality monitoring. The establishment of the water resource monitoring network must comply with the overall master plan on basic survey of water resources;

b/ Provincial-level People’s Committees shall organize the establishment and operation of the water resource monitoring network for intra-provincial water sources. The establishment of the water resource monitoring network must comply with provincial master plans;

c/ Organizations and individuals extracting water resources shall monitor and install measuring devices inspected and calibrated in accordance with the measurement law. Organizations and individuals are encouraged to construct and operate water resource monitoring facilities and provide water resource monitoring data to the state management agency in charge of water resources.

Organizations and individuals that extract water resources to produce and supply clean water for domestic use shall comply with this Clause and carry out continuous and periodic automatic monitoring and supervision of quality of extracted water sources.

d/ The movement, relocation or dissolution of surface water resource monitoring stations must comply with the hydrometeorology law; and that of groundwater resource monitoring stations must comply with regulations of the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment. Organizations and individuals that carry out activities requiring movement or relocation of monitoring stations shall pay compensation in accordance with law;

d/ Results of the monitoring of water resources, hydrometeorology and water environment quality shall be updated and shared onto the national information system and database on water resources.

2. Supervision of water resource extraction:

a/ The state management agency in charge of water resources shall receive monitoring data of organizations and individuals that extract water resources and supervise the implementation of registration certificates and water resource extraction licenses;

b/ Organizations and individuals that extract water resources shall update, connect and transmit monitoring data to the national information system and database on water resources in order to serve the supervision of water resource extraction;

c/ The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and provincial-level People’s Committees shall supervise water resource extraction with regard to facilities falling within their licensing competence.

3. The Government shall specify objects, scale, regime, parameters and indicators of the monitoring and supervision of water resource extraction and water quality, and implementation roadmap.

Section 3

WATER RESOURCE DECLARATION, REGISTRATION AND LICENSING

Article 52. General provisions on declaration, registration and licensing of exploration, extraction and use of water resources

1. Organizations and individuals that extract water resources for domestic use, agricultural production, aquaculture, industrial production, hydropower generation, hydraulic work, sports, tourism, business, service provision, water source generation, saltwater prevention, flood control, landscape creation and other purposes shall obtain water resource extraction licenses corresponding to types of extracted water sources under Clause 2 of this Article, except the cases specified in Clauses 3, 4 and 5 of this Article. In case of carrying out groundwater extraction, they shall obtain groundwater exploration licenses before constructing extraction facilities.

2. Water resource extraction licenses include:

a/ Surface water extraction license;

b/ Groundwater extraction license;

c/ Seawater extraction license.

3. Organizations and individuals are not required to declare water resources, obtain water resource extraction licenses and register water resource extraction and use in the following cases:

a/ They extract water for cultural, religious, belief or fire prevention and fighting activities, for national defense and security purposes, or for public-utility tree watering and road washing;

b/ They extract surface water on a small scale for agricultural production or aquaculture;

c/ They extract surface water on a small scale for purposes other than those specified at Points a and b of this Clause and Point dd, Clause 5 of this Article;

d/ They extract water for domestic use in areas during periods of drought, water shortage, saltwater intrusion, pollution incidents or epidemics as announced by competent authorities in accordance with law;

dd/ They extract seawater for use in salt production;

e/ They extract seawater for offshore activities;

g/ They extract seawater on a small scale for use in production, business, service provision and aquaculture activities on islands and the mainland;

h/ They use water surface of rivers, streams, canals, ditches and reservoirs for small-scale aquaculture, business and service provision;

i/ They dig small-sized reservoirs, ponds, canals and ditches to create spaces for water harvesting, storage and conveyance and landscape creation;

k/ They use water surface within protection corridors of hydraulic structures in accordance with the law on hydraulic work;

l/ Other cases specified by the Government.

4. Households that extract groundwater for their domestic use shall make declarations for management.

5. Organizations and individuals shall register for water resource extraction and use in the following cases:

a/ They extract surface water on a medium scale for agricultural production or aquaculture;

b/ They extract groundwater on a small scale for purposes other than those specified at Point a, Clause 3, and in Clause 4, of this Article;

c/ They use groundwater in mining pits for ore sorting at such pits or suction pumps for dewatering in such pits;

d/ They extract seawater on a medium scale for production, business, service provision and aquaculture activities on islands and the mainland;

dd/ They build small- or medium-sized works for impounding rivers, streams, canals and ditches for the purpose of generating water sources, preventing salinization, controlling inundation or creating landscapes;

e/ They use water surface of rivers, streams, canals, ditches and reservoirs for aquaculture, business and service provision on a scale other than that specified in the case specified at Point h, Clause 3 of this Article; or use reservoir water surface to generate solar power;

g/ They dig rivers, streams, reservoirs, ponds, canals and ditches to create spaces for water harvesting, storage and conveyance, and create landscapes on a scale other than that specified in the case specified at Point i, Clause 3 of this Article.

6. The competent state agency specified in Article 53 of this Law shall grant water resource extraction licenses, which must state water resource extraction quotas for the organizations and individuals falling into the cases specified in Clause 1 of this Article; and certify registration for water resource extraction and use for the organizations and individuals falling into the cases specified in Clause 5 of this Article.

7. For organizations and individuals that explore and extract groundwater within the scope of protection of hydraulic structures, water resource-licensing agencies shall obtain written opinions of state agencies managing such hydraulic structures before granting groundwater exploration and extraction licenses.

8. The collection of opinions of representatives of residential communities and related organizations and individuals on impacts of water extraction facilities is provided as follows:

a/ Organizations and individuals that construct water extraction facilities that greatly affect socio-economic development activities and people’s lives in their localities shall coordinate with local administrations in collecting opinions of representatives of residential communities and related organizations and individuals on impacts of water resource extraction and use plans; and synthesize, make replies and give explanations about replies to, such opinions in writing and enclose them with dossiers for grant of water resource extraction licenses;

b/ Organizations and individuals that invest in projects shall announce and publicize information on contents related to water resource extraction of such projects and their possible impacts before organizing the implementation of the projects;

c/ Expenses for opinion collection shall be paid by organizations and individuals investing in projects.

9. The Government shall detail this Article.

Article 53. Competence, order and procedures for declaration, registration and licensing of water resource exploration, extraction and use

The competence, order and procedures for granting, extending, modifying, re-granting, permitting the return of, suspending, terminating and revoking water resource extraction licenses and groundwater exploration licenses, and declaration and registration of water resource extraction and use are provided as follows:

1. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall grant, extend, modify, re-grant, permit the return of, suspend, terminate or revoke water resource extraction licenses and groundwater exploration licenses for large-scale water extraction facilities and water extraction facilities that exert inter-regional and inter-provincial impacts;

2. Provincial-level People’s Committees shall grant, extend, modify, re-grant, permit the return of, suspend, terminate or revoke water resource extraction licenses and groundwater exploration licenses other than those specified in the case specified in Clause 1 of this Article; and organize the registration of surface water and seawater extraction and use;

3. District-level People’s Committees shall organize the registration of groundwater extraction;

4. Commune-level People’s Committees shall receive declarations of groundwater extraction by households for domestic use;

5. The Government shall detail this Article; and specify the order and procedures for declaration of groundwater extraction by households, and registration of water resource extraction and use; provide the grant, extension, modification, re-grant, permission for return, suspension, termination and revocation of water resource extraction licenses and groundwater exploration licenses.

Article 54. Validity duration of water resource extraction licenses and groundwater exploration licenses

1. The validity duration of water resource extraction licenses is specified as follows:

a/ A surface water extraction license is valid for between 5 years and 10 years and may be considered for extension of 5 years for multiple times;

b/ A seawater extraction license is valid for between 10 years and 15 years and may be considered for extension of 10 years for multiple times;

c/ A groundwater extraction license is valid for between 3 years and 5 years and may be considered for extension of 3 years for multiple times;

d/ For an organization or individual that applies for a license with a validity duration shorter than the minimum period specified at Point a, b or c of this Clause, such license shall be granted with a validity duration requested in the application and may be considered for extension not exceeding that of the latest granted or extended license for multiple times.

2. A groundwater exploration license is valid for 2 years and may be considered for extension of up to 1 year only once. In case an organization or individual requests grant or extension of a license with a shorter validity duration, such license may be granted or extended with the validity duration requested in the application.

3. In case an organization’s or individual’s dossier of request for extension of a water resource extraction license is submitted 45 days before such license expires, the effective time stated in the extended license shall be counted in succession to the date of expiration of the old license.

Article 55. Principles of water resource exploration, extraction and use registration and licensing

1. Being carried out intra vires, for eligible subjects and according to the law-specified order and procedures.

2. Guaranteeing interests of the State, and lawful rights and interests of organizations and individuals that have been registered for water resource exploration, extraction and use and granted water resource extraction licenses or groundwater exploration licenses and of other related organizations and individuals.

3. Giving priority to the registration and licensing of exploration, extraction and use of water resources for domestic use.

4. Protecting water resources and the environment in accordance with law; not causing water degradation, depletion and pollution in the course of water resource exploration, extraction and use.

Article 56. Grounds for grant of water resource extraction licenses and groundwater exploration licenses

1. The grant of water resource extraction licenses and groundwater exploration licenses shall be based on the following grounds:

a/ Water resource master plans; national sectoral master plans, provincial master plans, technical and specialized master plans having contents of water resource extraction and use; and supply capacity of water sources;

b/ Current status of water resource extraction and use in the region; water resource protection requirements;

c/ Results of the appraisal by competent state agencies of dossiers of application for water resource extraction licenses and groundwater exploration licenses under the Government’s regulations;

d/ The water resource extraction and use demand stated in license applications.

2. The grant of groundwater extraction licenses and groundwater exploration licenses must also comply with Articles 30, and Clause 4, Article 31, of this Law.

Article 57. Conditions for grant of water resource extraction licenses and groundwater exploration licenses

1. An organization or individual may be granted a water resource extraction license when satisfying the following conditions:

a/ Having completed the collection of opinions under Clause 8, Article 52 of this Law;

b/ Ensuring that the water resource extraction complies with Point a, Clause 1, Article 56 of this Law; or that the groundwater extraction complies with the provisions of Article 31 of this Law regarding areas where groundwater extraction is banned or restricted;

c/ Meeting requirements on water resource protection, extraction and use and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation specified in this Law;

d/ Ensuring that information and data used for the formulation of schemes and reports are adequate and accurate.

2. An organization or individual may be granted a groundwater exploration license when satisfying the following conditions:

a/ Having a plan on construction of groundwater exploration work items meeting groundwater protection requirements and complying with the provisions of Article 31 of this Law regarding areas where groundwater extraction is banned or restricted;

b/ Ensuring that information and data used for the formulation of schemes are adequate and accurate.

3. Surface water extraction organizations that build dams and reservoirs on rivers and streams must, in addition to satisfying the conditions specified in Clause 1 of this Article and Point b, Clause 3, Article 50 of this Law, also satisfy the following conditions:

a/ Having a plan on equipment and human resources for hydrometeorological monitoring, forecast of water volumes flowing into reservoirs, reservoir operation, and water resource extraction monitoring and supervision;

b/ Formulating reservoir operation procedures under regulations on dam and reservoir safety management, in case such reservoirs already exist.

Section 4

ECONOMICAL AND EFFICIENT WATER USE

Article 58. Circular, economical and efficient water use

1. Organizations and individuals that wish to extract and use water resources shall apply the following solutions to ensure circular, economical and efficient water use:

a/ To extract and use water resources for proper purposes and in a rational manner;

b/ To formulate plans to replace outdated and water-intensive vehicles, equipment and technologies;

c/ To improve the water use process; to apply advanced technologies in water resource extraction and use; to increase the circular use of water or reuse water; to store rainwater;

d/ To structure crop seasons, crops and livestock in conformity with the supply capacity of water sources; to innovate, optimize and apply measures, technologies and techniques for cultivation, construction, maintenance and operation of water conveyance and retention facilities in order to save water and use water efficiently in agricultural production;

dd/ Organizations and individuals that manage and operate water supply systems shall comply with standards and technical regulations to ensure stable, safe and uninterrupted water supply and reduce water loss and waste;

e/ Organizations and individuals that manage and operate hydraulic structures and systems shall apply measures for economical and efficient water use and ensure rational operation of water supply systems, thereby reducing water loss and waste.

2. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Construction, and Ministry of Science and Technology shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, have the following responsibilities:

a/ To develop economical and efficient water use models; to disseminate water-efficient models, technologies and equipment;

b/ To formulate programs and plans, and direct and guide the research and application of technological models of economical and efficient water use in order to gradually eliminate outdated and water-intensive technologies.

3. Provincial-level People’s Committees shall synchronously apply measures to strictly manage and control the implementation of regulations on economical and efficient water use in their localities.

Article 59. Circular water use, water reuse

1. The State shall promote investment projects on production, business and service provision involving water extraction and use and wastewater discharge with solutions on circular water use and water reuse right in the stage of project formulation.

2. The wastewater treatment and water reuse must comply with the law on environmental protection.

3. Investment projects on production, business and service provision involving water extraction and use and wastewater discharge in areas where the carrying capacity of surface water sources is running out as announced by competent state agencies must have solutions on circular water use and water  reuse or have plans on treatment of wastewater up to environmental technical regulations on surface water quality before discharging wastewater into water sources in accordance with the law on environmental protection.

4. Depending on local socio-economic development conditions, provincial-level People’s Committees shall formulate plans and roadmaps that specify types of projects required to have plans on circular water use and water reuse, for projects in areas frequently hit by drought and water shortage, and determine incentives to which such projects are entitled in accordance with law.

5. Investment projects on production, business and service provision that apply solutions on circular water use and water reuse may be considered for reduction of the charge for grant of the water resource extraction right in accordance with this Law.

6. Organizations and individuals shall research and apply solutions on circular water use and water reuse in areas where water sources are degraded or extracted in excess of the groundwater extraction threshold and the carrying capacity of which is running out.

Article 60. Incentives for economical and efficient water use

1. Organizations and individuals that invest in circular water use and water reuse, rainwater harvesting and use, or use of desalinated seawater, or invest in water-efficient equipment and technologies are entitled to incentives in accordance with law.

2. Criteria for water-efficient products, equipment and technologies are specified by the Minister of Science and Technology.

 

Chapter V

WATER-CAUSED HARM PREVENTION, CONTROL AND REMEDIATION

Article 61. Responsibilities and obligations to prevent, control and remediate water-caused harms

1. State agencies, organizations and individuals have the responsibility and obligation to participate in water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation in accordance with this Law and other relevant laws.

2. Ministries, ministerial-level agencies and People’s Committees at all levels shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, decide on, and organize the implementation of, measures to prevent, control and remediate water-caused harms.

Article 62. Disaster-caused harm prevention, control and remediation

The prevention, control and remediation of flood, inundation, sea level rise, hailstorm and acid rain and other disaster-caused harms must comply with the dike law, disaster prevention and control law, and other relevant laws.

Article 63. Prevention and control of drought, water shortage, flood, inundation and artificial waterlogging

1. The State shall invest and encourage organizations and individuals to invest in building water storage facilities and searching water sources in order to actively respond to drought and water shortage; build, renovate and restore lakes/reservoirs, ponds and other facilities that have the functions of water supply and regulation, and artificial waterlogging prevention and control; prioritize the utilization of mineral, soil and construction material mining pits after the mining is stopped and the construction of reservoirs for water regulation, storage and supply and landscape creation in accordance with the law on environmental protection, mineral law and other relevant laws.

2. The State shall prioritize the implementation of measures for synchronous and comprehensive rainwater harvesting and drainage in order to mitigate urban waterlogging.

3. Urban master plans, construction master plans of urban centers, concentrated residential areas, tourism areas, industrial parks, economic zones, export processing zones, cottage industry zones and traffic master plans must limit the repurposing of special-use forests and watershed protection forests and the leveling of lakes/reservoirs, ponds and lagoons, and take solutions for rainwater storage and drainage so as not to cause artificial waterlogging.

4. The construction of sewers on rivers, streams, canals and ditches must be minimized to ensure their water drainage capacity, mitigate artificial waterlogging, and protect aquatic ecosystems.

5. The State shall prioritize the construction of water regulation and storage facilities in areas where drought, water shortage, saltwater intrusion, flood and inundation frequently occur so as to facilitate the safe control of flood, drought and saline infiltration.

6. For lakes/reservoirs, ponds and lagoons that have the functions of water regulation and supply, waterlogging prevention and control, landscape creation, environmental protection, and protection and conservation of religious and belief activities, cultural values and biodiversity, it is required to draw up and publicize lists of lakes/reservoirs, ponds and lagoons that may not be leveled for management and protection.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall draw up, publicize and modify lists of lakes/reservoirs, ponds and lagoons that may not be leveled, for those belonging to inter-provincial surface water sources. Provincial-level People’s Committees shall draw up, publicize and modify lists of lakes/reservoirs, ponds and lagoons that may not be leveled, for those belonging to intra-provincial surface water sources.

7. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall make forecasts and warnings about hydrometeorology and water resources according to its competence; draw on digital real-time zoning maps of areas prone to drought and water shortage, and direct and supervise the implementation of water resource regulation and distribution plans under Articles 35 and 36 of this Law.

8. The Minister of Construction shall promulgate national technical regulations on construction master plans and national regulations on technical infrastructure facilities so as to increase the capacity of rainwater absorption, storage and drainage, ensuring groundwater recharge and refraining from causing waterlogging.

9. The Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Construction shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, ensure the water drainage capacity and refrain from causing flow obstruction or flood and inundation in river basins in the course of transport infrastructure designing and construction.

10. The Government shall detail Clause 6 of this Article.

Article 64. Saltwater intrusion prevention and control 

1. The State shall invest and encourage organizations and individuals to participate in investment and construction of facilities to prevent saline infiltration and retain freshwater so as to proactively respond to drought, water shortage and saltwater intrusion; prioritize projects on planting of breakwater protection forests in areas where saltwater intrusion frequently occurs.

2. Groundwater exploration and extraction in delta and coastal areas must ensure saltwater intrusion prevention and control for aquifers.

3. Seawater extraction for socio-economic development must not cause saltwater intrusion.

4. Organizations and individuals that extract and use water resources for agricultural production and aquaculture shall take measures to prevent and control saltwater intrusion.

5. The management and operation of facilities to prevent saline infiltration and retain freshwater, reservoirs and water-regulating facilities must comply with processes, standards and technical regulations, ensuring saltwater intrusion prevention and control.

6. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Construction and provincial-level People’s Committees shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, organize the implementation of saltwater intrusion prevention and control measures based on water source scenarios and water resource regulation and distribution plans specified in Clauses 4 and 7, Article 35 and Clause 1, Article 36 of this Law.

Article 65. Land subsidence prevention and control  

1. Organizations and individuals carrying out the activities specified in Clause 1, Article 31 of this Law shall comply with relevant standards and technical regulations, refraining from causing land subsidence.

Upon occurrence of land subsidence, it is required to immediately stop groundwater exploration and extraction activities, take remedies and notify such to People’s Committees of localities where land subsidence occurs. If damage is caused, it is required to pay compensation and take responsibility in accordance with law.

2. For areas where land subsidence has occurred or is likely to occur due to groundwater exploration and extraction, provincial-level People’s Committees shall zone off areas where groundwater extraction is banned or restricted.

3. Land subsidence prevention and control must comply with Clauses 1 and 2 of this Article, and groundwater protection must comply with Article 31 of this Law.

Article 66. River and lake/reservoir bed and bank erosion prevention and control

1. The renovation of river and lake/reservoir beds and banks, construction of waterway structures, extraction of sand, gravel and other minerals on rivers, lakes and water source protection corridors must neither cause landslide and nor adversely affect the stability of river and lake beds and banks and water source protection corridors.

2. The activities specified in Clause 1 of this Article that are likely to destabilize river and lake beds and banks must have their impacts assessed and require river and lake/reservoir bed and bank erosion protection, prevention and control plans.

The impact assessment and appraisal of river and lake/reservoir bed and bank erosion protection, prevention and control plans shall be carried out in the course of appraising environmental impact assessment reports. The impact assessment and river and lake/reservoir bed and bank erosion protection, prevention and control plans constitute main contents of environmental impact assessment reports.

3. Before licensing the extraction of sand, gravel and other minerals on rivers and lakes/reservoirs, agencies with the licensing competence shall appraise contents on extraction locations, scope, depth and regime, refraining from causing erosion so as to protect river and lake/reservoir beds and banks.

4. For rivers or river sections in which bed and bank erosion has occurred or is likely to occur, it is required to zone off areas where the extraction of sand, gravel or other minerals is banned or temporarily banned. The zoning off of areas where the extraction of sand, gravel or other minerals is banned or temporarily banned must comply with the mineral law.

5. Within the ambit of their tasks and powers, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Ministry of Industry and Trade shall direct the operation of hydraulic and hydropower structures; the Ministry of Construction and Ministry of Transport shall review and promulgate standards and national technical regulations on work construction, and direct and supervise the construction of facilities on rivers and in water source protection corridors up to river and lake/reservoir bed and bank erosion prevention and control requirements.

6. The Government shall detail Clauses 1 and 2 of this Article.

 

Chapter VI

ECONOMIC TOOLS, POLICIES AND RESOURCES FOR WATER RESOURCES 

Article 67. State budget revenues from water resource activities

1. Royalty and other taxes specified by the tax laws.

2. Charges specified by the law on charge and fee.

3. Charge for grant of the water resource extraction right.

4. Compensations for damage caused to the State, and fines imposed for administrative violations in the field of water resources in accordance with law.

Article 68. Water resource taxes and charges

1. Royalty imposed on natural water must comply with the royalty law.

2. Royalty calculation prices of natural water must comply with the royalty law and other relevant laws.

3. Environmental protection tax imposed on products and goods the use of which causes adverse impacts on the environment or environmental pollutants must comply with the law on environmental protection tax.

4. Water resource charges include:

a/ Charges for water source extraction and use specified by the charge and fee law. Charge levels specified at this Point shall be determined on the basis of nature of public services and activities in the field of water resources;

b/ Environmental protection charge and charge levels imposed for the discharge of wastewater into the environment must comply with the charge and fee law and environmental protection law.

Article 69. Charge for grant of the water resource extraction right

1. Organizations and individuals that extract water resources and are subject to the licensing of surface water or groundwater extraction shall pay a charge for grant of the water resource extraction right if:

a/ They extract surface water for power generation for commercial purposes; or,

b/ They extract surface water or groundwater for production, business, service provision, aquaculture, agricultural or domestic use.

2. Organizations and individuals that extract water resources are not required to pay a charge for grant of the water resources extraction right if:

a/ They extract seawater; or,

b/ They extract and use water resources for domestic use, agricultural production, aquaculture, industrial production, hydropower generation, hydraulic work, sports, tourism, business, service provision, water source creation, saltwater intrusion prevention, waterlogging prevention, and landscape creation under Clauses 3, 4 and 5, Article 52 of this Law; or,

c/ They extract water resources for water source creation, saltwater intrusion prevention, waterlogging prevention, and landscape creation under Clause 1, Article 52 of this Law.

3. Organizations and individuals that extract surface water and groundwater under Clause 1 of this Article are exempt from the charge for grant of the water resource extraction right if:

a/ They extract water to supply domestic water for inhabitants in border areas, islands, areas with difficult socio-economic conditions and areas with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions; or,

b/ They implement projects with water extraction facilities guaranteed by the Government of Vietnam; or,

c/ In the course of water extraction, water extraction facilities are damaged due to force majeure events and can no longer operate or extraction activities must be suspended.

4. Organizations and individuals that extract surface water or groundwater under Clause 1 of this Article are entitled to reduction of the charge for grant of the water resource extraction right if:

a/ Water extraction facilities are required to cut or reduce to-be-extracted water amounts at the request of competent state agencies under Point g, Clause 1, Article 42 of this Law; or,

b/ Water is extracted and used water in a circular manner or reused under Clause 5, Article 59 of this Law; or,

c/ Operating reservoirs are required to adjust or add the flood prevention capacity for downstream areas as compared to their approved tasks; or,

d/ Water is extracted for agricultural production upon occurrence of drought, water shortage or saltwater intrusion.

5. The charge for grant of the water resource extraction right shall be determined on the basis of volume, quality and type of water sources, extraction condition, scope and duration, and water use purposes.

6. The Government shall provide in detail the payment of, exemption from, and reduction of, the charge for grant of the water resource extraction right; and charge calculation methods and rates.

Article 70. Water resource services

1. Water resource services include:

a/ Decision support services for water resource regulation and distribution;

b/ Decision support services for reservoir and inter-reservoir operation.

2. An organization must satisfy the following conditions to provide the services specified in Clause 1 of this Article:

a/ Having a decision on its establishment of a competent authority or an enterprise registration certificate or another equivalent document specified by the enterprise law;

b/ Having technical infrastructure, physical facilities, equipment and software for assurance of service provision;

c/ Having a contingent of appropriate professional staff to provide decision  support services for water resource regulation and distribution and decision support services for reservoir and inter-reservoir operation.

3. The Government shall detail this Article.

Article 71. Water resource accounting

1. Water resource accounting is the process of summarizing, calculating and balancing water sources, determining the value of water resources in socio-economic activities, and ensuring water security.

2. Water resource accounting must adhere to the following principles:

a/ Ensuring the synchronization and consistency of information and data in the accounting process;

b/ Being integrated with the national information system and database on water resources;

c/ Being developed for different water resource account groups.

3. Results of water resource accounting are used for competent authorities to consider and decide on water resource regulation and distribution and implementation of solutions to manage resource extraction, use and protection.

4. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, related ministries, ministerial-level agencies, provincial-level People’s Committees and organizations and individuals in, organizing water resource accounting.

5. The Government shall detail this Article and the roadmap for implementation of water resource accounting.

Article 72. Resources for water resource management, protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation

1. The State shall allocate resources for the following activities:

a/ Water resource basic survey and planning;

b/ Water resource protection; water development and storage and restoration of degraded, depleted and polluted water sources; forest protection and development;

c/ Water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation;

d/ Building of the national information system and database on water resources;

dd/ Building and development of water extraction and use infrastructure in border areas, islands, areas with difficult socio-economic conditions, areas with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions, and areas prone to freshwater scarcity;

e/ Scientific research, technology development and transfer for economical and efficient water extraction and use;

g/ Dissemination of, and public communication about, water resources;

h/ International integration and cooperation on water resources;

i/ Examination and inspection in the field of water resources;

k/ Activities related to water extraction, use, protection, development and storage, water source restoration, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation, and other activities related to water resources so as to ensure water security.

2. Resources for the activities specified in Clause 1 of this Article include:

a/ State budget funds allocated as regular expenditures and development investment expenditures;

b/ Environmental protection fund;

c/ Contributions of organizations and individuals; mobilization of social sources and other lawful capital sources in accordance with law.

3. State budget funds shall be allocated in conformity with the budget capacity and water source protection and development task requirements. Non-business environmental protection funds shall be spent for water resource protection; restoration of degraded, depleted and polluted water sources; and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation.

4. The State shall encourage financial institutions to develop green credit, green bonds and financial products to support water source protection, development and restoration.

5. Organizations and individuals shall effectively manage and use their assigned budget funds and other revenue sources in accordance with law.

Article 73. Incentives and support for water resource management, protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation

Organizations and individuals are entitled to incentives, support or exemption from, or reduction of, the charge for grant of the water resource extraction right in accordance with this Law and relevant laws when:

1. Participating in the restoration of degraded, depleted and polluted water sources;

2. Prospecting, exploring and extracting water to supply domestic and production water to people in areas prone to freshwater scarcity, ethnic minority areas, mountainous areas, border areas, islands, areas with difficult socio-economic conditions, areas with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions, the poor, women, children, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups;

3. Using water in a circular manner, reusing water; harvesting and using rainwater; processing seawater into freshwater; procuring water-efficient equipment and technologies;

4. Building water regulation and storage facilities in areas prone to water scarcity, ethnic minority areas, mountainous areas, border areas, islands, areas with difficult socio-economic conditions, and areas with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions.

5. Developing technology, equipment and products to serve water resource protection, development and restoration;

6. Building and operating groundwater artificial recharge facilities.

Article 74. Mobilization of social resources for development investment, water storage and water source restoration

1. The State shall promote the mobilization of social resources for the following activities:

a/ Restoring degraded, depleted and polluted water sources;

b/ Building water development and storage facilities.

2. Organizations and individuals that invest in projects with the activities specified in Clause 1 of this Article shall comply with this Law, the investment law, the law on investment in the form of public-private partnership, and other relevant laws.

Chapter VII

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ON WATER RESOURCES

Article 75. Principles of international cooperation on water resources

1. Respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and lawful interests of countries sharing water sources;

2. Assurance of fairness and rationality in water source protection, extraction, use and development, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation for transboundary water sources.

3. No prejudice to the lawful rights and interests of countries sharing water sources in accordance with treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party;

4. Compliance with Vietnam’s law, international agreements and treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party;

5. Protection, extraction, use and development of transboundary water sources for the purpose of ensuring optimal and sustainable benefits brought by water sources, taking into account interests of countries sharing water sources.

6. Application of appropriate preventive measures to mitigate water-caused harms for countries sharing water sources in using transboundary water sources within the territory of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Article 76. Contents of international cooperation on water resources

1. To proactively and actively cooperate with foreign countries and organizations and international organizations on water resources, with priority given to water resource protection and sustainable development, human resource training, scientific research, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation so as to ensure water security.

2. To proactively and actively cooperate in exchange of information and data on current status of and forecasts about water sources, hydrometeorology, hydrogeology and ecology, water quality related to transboundary water sources; to coordinate with one another in researching and planning the protection, extraction and use of transboundary water sources; to prevent, control and remediate water-caused harms for transboundary water sources; to facilitate water resource protection and sustainable development and implementation of projects related to transboundary water sources; to comply with the law on protection of state secrets, for information and data related to state secrets.

3. To proactively and actively participate, make substantive contributions, study and propose new ideas and initiatives on water resources at regional and international organizations and forums and related international river basin organizations so as to promote water resource cooperation, extraction, use, and sustainable development, and ensure transboundary water source security.

Article 77. Responsibility to protect Vietnam’s rights and interests regarding transboundary water sources

1. Organizations and individuals shall protect Vietnam’s rights and interests related to transboundary water sources in accordance with this Law, other provisions of Vietnam’s law and international agreements and treaties concerning water resources to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

2. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall monitor, supervise, receive information, summarize the state of transboundary water sources, forecast and warn adverse impacts, and promptly report them to the Government and Prime Minister for handling so as to ensure Vietnam’s rights and interests.

3. When detecting abnormal problems in water flow, water level and water source quality in areas under their management, People’s Committees at all levels in border areas where exist transboundary water sources shall report such problems to their immediate higher-level People’s Committee; provincial-level People’s Committees shall report such problems to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Article 78. Settlement of disputes and disagreements over transboundary water sources

Disputes and disagreements related to water resources between Vietnam and nations and territories sharing water sources shall be settled on the basis of the principles specified in Article 75 of this Law through peaceful measures and in accordance with international agreements and treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

Disputes and disagreements over transboundary water sources occurring in river basins for which international river basin organizations have been set up with the participation of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam shall also be settled in accordance with regulations of such river basin organizations.

 

Chapter VIII

RESPONSIBILITY FOR STATE MANAGEMENT OF WATER RESOURCES

Article 79. Responsibility for state management of water resources of the Government, ministries and ministerial-level agencies

1. The Government shall perform the uniform state management of water resources nationwide.

2. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall act as a focal agency in assisting the Government in performing the state management of water resource management, protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use; and river basin and water source management, and has the following responsibilities:

a/ To promulgate according to its competence or submit to competent state agencies for promulgation and organize the implementation of legal documents on water resources;

b/ To promulgate national technical regulations, norms and unit prices on water resource planning, basic survey, exploration, extraction, use and protection;

c/ To formulate and announce the set of national indicators on water security, and assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committees in, implementing measures to ensure water security;

d/ To organize the formulation and propose the modification of the list of transboundary river basins and list of inter-provincial river basins for submission to the Prime Minister for promulgation; to promulgate and modify the list of intra-provincial river basins, list of transboundary surface water sources, list of inter-provincial surface water sources, and list of groundwater sources;

dd/ To disseminate information on, and carry out public communication about, water resources to raise the awareness about water resource protection, and economical and efficient water extraction and use; to inspect, examine and handle violations of the water resource law; and train human resources for water resources;

e/ To organize the monitoring, supervision, warning and forecast of rain, flood, inundation, drought, water shortage, pollution, saltwater intrusion, and other abnormal phenomena in water resources;

g/ To manage, store, announce and publish materials, information and data on water resources; to organize the formulation and guide the provision of online public services on water resources according to its competence;

h/ To submit to the Government and Prime Minister plans to solve matters related to transboundary water sources, the participation in international organizations and conclusion of international agreements and treaties on water resources; to assume the prime responsibility for international cooperation on water resources;

i/ To act as the standing body of the Vietnam National Mekong Committee and other river basin organizations;

k/ To inspect, examine, and handle violations of the water resource law according to its competence;

l/ To perform other responsibilities in accordance with this Law and other relevant laws.

3. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall, within the ambit of its tasks and powers, perform the state management of planning, construction and operation of hydraulic structures and rural water supply works and ensure the safety of hydraulic dams and reservoirs under its management according to regulations on water resource extraction and use; and provide information and data for working out water source scenarios and perform other responsibilities in accordance with this Law and other relevant laws.

4. The Ministry of Industry and Trade shall, within the ambit of its tasks and powers, perform the state management of planning, construction and operation of water extraction and use works and ensure the safety of dams and hydropower reservoirs under its management according to regulations on extraction and use of water resources; and provide information and data to develop water source scenarios and perform other responsibilities in accordance with this Law and other relevant laws.

5. The Ministry of Construction shall, within the ambit of its tasks and powers, perform the state management of planning, construction and operation of water supply and drainage works in urban centers, concentrated rural residential areas and functional zones under its management according to regulations on water resource extraction and use;  and provide information and data for working out water source scenarios, and perform other responsibilities in accordance with this Law and other relevant laws.

6. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall, within the ambit of its tasks and powers, coordinate with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and related ministries, ministerial-level agencies and localities in participating in the conclusion and implementation of treaties and international agreements concerning water resources; and participate in international cooperation with foreign countries and organizations in the field of water resources.

7. The Ministry of National Defense shall, within the ambit of its tasks and powers, build and organize forces and means for participating in response to and remediation of water pollution and degradation incidents and incidents threatening the safety of dams and reservoirs, response to water-related  incidents, disasters, search and rescue activities in accordance with the law on civil defense, law on the state of emergency and other relevant laws; and coordinate with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in organizing, managing and operating the cross-border water source monitoring system.

8. The Ministry of Public Security shall, within the ambit of its tasks and powers, formulate, and organize the implementation of, plans on protection of extremely important domestic water supply works; prevent, detect and combat violations of the water resource law; coordinate with related agencies in organizing forces and means for responding to water-related incidents and disasters; and ensure political security and social order and safety in localities and areas where water-related incidents and disasters occur in accordance with law.

9. Related ministries and ministerial-level agencies shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, coordinate with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in performing the state management of water resources to ensure water security and perform other tasks in accordance with this Law.

Article 80. Responsibilities of People’s Committees at all levels for state management of water resources

1. Provincial-level People’s Committees, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, have the following responsibilities:

a/ To promulgate, and organize the implementation of, legal documents on water resources according to their competence;

b/ To organize the implementation of national water resource strategies, the overall master plan on basic survey of water resources, and water resource master plans; to formulate, and organize the implementation of, water resource extraction, use and protection plans, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation in provincial master plans;

c/ To identify degraded, depleted or polluted water sources; to organize the implementation of groundwater protection plans;

d/ To organize the response to and remediation of water pollution incidents; to monitor, detect, and participate in the settlement of, transboundary water pollution incidents according to their competence;

dd/ To provide information and data for working out water source scenarios; to promulgate and modify the list of intra-provincial surface water sources;

e/ To disseminate information on, and carry out public communication about, water resources in order to raise the awareness about water resource protection, and economical and efficient water extraction and use;

g/ To manage water source protection corridors; to organize the supervision of water resources as delegated; to report to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on water resource management, extraction, use and protection, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation in their localities;

h/ To inspect, examine, and handle violations of the water resource law in their localities;

i/ To organize the formulation and guide the provision of online public services on water resources according to their competence;

k/ To coordinate with same-level Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees and their member organizations in disseminating information on, and carrying out public communication about, water resources;

l/ To perform other responsibilities in accordance with this Law.

2. District-level People’s Committees, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, have the following responsibilities:

a/ To implement measures to protect water resources in accordance with law; to coordinate with agencies and organizations managing water resource monitoring, measurement and surveillance stations and facilities, water exploration and extraction facilities and facilities for discharge of wastewater into water sources in order to protect these facilities;

b/ To organize the response to, and remediation of, water pollution incidents; to monitor, detect, and participate in the settlement of, water pollution incidents according to their competence; to organize the implementation of measures to prevent, control and remediate water-caused harms;

c/ To disseminate information on, and carry out public communication about, water resources in order to raise the awareness about water resource protection, and economical and efficient water extraction and use; to inspect, examine, and handle violations of the water resource law in their localities;

d/ To periodically summarize and report to provincial-level People’s Committees on water resource management, protection, extraction and use and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation;

dd/ To receive, manage and protect boundary markers of water source protection corridors as assigned; to organize the registration of extraction and use of water resources according to their competence;

e/ To perform tasks of state management of water resources as delegated or authorized by provincial-level People’s Committees;

g/ To perform other responsibilities in accordance with this Law.

3. Commune-level People’s Committees, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, have the following responsibilities:

a/ To take measures to protect water resources in accordance with law; to coordinate with agencies and organizations managing water resource monitoring, measurement and surveillance stations and facilities, water exploration and extraction facilities and facilities for discharge of wastewater into water sources in order to protect these facilities;

b/ To disseminate information on, and carry out public communication about, water resources in order to raise the awareness about water resource protection, and economical and efficient water extraction and use; to inspect, examine, and handle violations of the water resource law in their localities;

c/ To receive, manage and protect boundary markers of water source protection corridors as assigned; to supervise activities in water resource protection corridors and sanitary protection zones of domestic water supply sources under regulations;

d/ To periodically summarize and report to district-level People’s Committees on groundwater extraction for domestic use of households;

dd/ To perform tasks of state management of water resources as delegated or authorized by higher-level People’s Committees;

e/ To perform other responsibilities in accordance with this Law.

Article 81. Coordination and supervision of water resource protection, regulation, distribution, restoration, development, extraction and use, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation

1. The following activities in river basins must be coordinated and supervised:

a/ Coordinating measures to protect water resources, respond to and remediate water pollution incidents; restore degraded, depleted or polluted water sources, and prevent, control and remediate water-caused harms in river basins;

b/ Regulating and distributing water resources, maintaining the minimum flow of rivers and groundwater extraction thresholds; and regulating and distributing water resources in case of drought or water shortage in river basins;

c/ Constructing and operating dams, reservoirs and other water regulation works on rivers; water diversion projects and other large-scale and important water extraction facilities in river basins;

d/ Discharging wastewater which is likely to cause serious pollution or quality degradation of water sources; and remediating water pollution incidents and restoring degraded, depleted or polluted water sources in river basins;

dd/ Land use, mineral mining and forest protection and development activities in river basins;

e/ Renovating landscapes and developing land areas along rivers and lakes/reservoirs;

g/ Formulating and implementing integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins, inter-reservoir operation procedures in river basins, projects involving water diversion activities or construction of reservoirs and dams on rivers; and decision support systems on water source regulation and distribution in inter-provincial river basins.

2. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall uniformly direct the coordination in operations of river basin organizations, provincial-level People’s Committees and related agencies and organizations in regulating and distributing water resources, supervising water resource extraction, use and protection, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation in river basins.

3. Provincial-level People’s Committees shall direct water resource regulation and distribution, and coordinate and supervise water resource extraction, use and protection, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation in intra-provincial river basins.

4. River basin organizations shall implement coordination and supervision activities and have the following tasks:

a/ Monitoring and supervising activities related to water resource protection, regulation, distribution, development, extraction and use, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation;

b/ Giving their opinions during the process of formulating water resource master plans, national sectoral master plans, provincial master plans, and technical and specialized master plans involving water resource extraction and use; and inter-reservoir operation procedures;

c/ Monitoring and supervising the implementation of water resource master plans and inter-reservoir operation procedures; and proposing modifications thereto when necessary;

d/ Proposing measures to settle disputes and disagreements between Vietnam and foreign countries in transboundary river basins; monitoring and supervising water resource-related activities of upstream countries;

dd/ Proposing plans to solve problems in water source protection, extraction, use and development, wastewater discharge and water source pollution;

e/ Giving their opinions in the process of formulating and approving programs, schemes and projects greatly affecting water resources and in the process of formulating and promulgating investment incentive and support policies related to water resources;

g/ Supporting localities in issuing decisions on water resource regulation and distribution;

h/ Participating in settling conflicts over water resource extraction, use and protection in river basins;

i/ Organizing or participating in researches, and proposing water resource-related orientations, mechanisms, policies, strategies, national sectoral master plans and national-level important works and performing other tasks in river basins under the Government’s regulations.

5. The Government shall provide in detail the regulation and supervision of water resource extraction, use and protection, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation, and specify the organization and operation of river basin organizations.

Chapter IX

WATER RESOURCE INSPECTION AND EXAMINATION

Article 82. Specialized water resource inspection

1. The Inspectorate of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Inspectorates of provincial-level Departments of Natural Resources and Environment shall perform the specialized water resource inspection.

2. The organization and operation of specialized water resource inspectorates must comply with the inspection law.

Article 83. Examination of the observance of the water resource law

1. The purpose of inspecting the observance of the water resource law is to contribute to improving the effect and effectiveness of the state management and the sense of law observance of organizations and individuals in water resource protection, extraction and use, and water-caused harm prevention, control and remediation; detecting problems and shortcomings in order to study and propose amendments and supplementations to legal documents on water resources; and preventing, detecting and handling violations of the water resource law.

2. The examination of the observance of the water resource law shall be carried out under plans and directions of competent authorities or upon detecting signs of violations, avoiding scope and time overlaps with inspection and examination activities in the same field for the same unit, ensuring objectivity, publicity and transparency according to the law-specified competence, order and procedures; and refraining from obstructing normal operation of examined entities.

3. The inspection time limit shall be determined in the inspection decision but must not exceed 10 days from the date of decision announcement. In case the inspection scope is large with complicated contents, the inspection time limit may be extended once for up to 10 days.

4. Responsibility for organizing and directing the inspection of the observance of the water resource law:

a/ The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and related ministries shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, organize the inspection of the observance of the water resource law;

b/ People’s Committees at all levels shall, within the ambit of their tasks and powers, organize the inspection of the observance of the water resource law.

5. The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment shall detail this Article.

Chapter X

IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS

Article 84. Amending and supplementing a number of laws concerning water resources

1. To amend and supplement Point 3 of Appendix II - List of technical and specialized master plans, to Law No. 21/2017/QH14 on Planning, which has a number of articles amended and supplemented under Law No. 15/2023/QH15 and Law No. 16/2023/QH15, as follows:

3

Integrated master plans on inter-provincial river basins

Law No. 28/2023/QH15 on Water Resources

2. To amend and supplement a number of articles of Law No. 08/2017/QH14 on Hydraulic Work, which has a number of articles amended and supplemented under Law No. 35/2018/QH14, Law No. 59/2020/QH14, Law No. 72/2020/QH14, and Law No. 16/2023/QH15, as follows:

a/ To amend and supplement Point d, Clause 1, Article 27 as follows:

“d/ Upon occurrence of drought, water shortage, saltwater intrusion, flood, inundation or waterlogging, the reservoir and inter-reservoir operation must comply with the water resource law.”;

b/ To amend and supplement Point c, Clause 1, Article 44 as follows:

“c/ Drilling and digging for geological survey; exploring and extracting minerals and construction materials;”;

c/ To amend and supplement Point c, Clause 2, Article 56 as follows:

“c/ To direct water regulation and distribution and organize the formulation of plans on use of water in hydraulic structure systems for domestic use, agricultural production and other economic sectors; to coordinate with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Ministry of Industry and Trade in regulating water of hydropower reservoirs for irrigation in case of drought, water shortage or saltwater intrusion;”.

3. To amend and supplement a number of articles of Law No. 61/2020/QH14 on Investment, which has a number of articles amended and supplemented under Law No. 72/2020/QH14, Law No. 03/2022/QH15, Law No. 05/2022/QH15, Law No. 08/2022/QH15, Law No. 09/2022/QH15, and Law No. 20/2023/QH15, as follows:

a/ To amend and supplement Point g, Clause 1, Article 16 as follows:

“g/ Waste collection, treatment, recycling or reuse; water development and storage and water source restoration;”;

b/ To amend and supplement a number of points of Appendix IV - List of conditional business investment lines, as follows:

213

Provision of water resource extraction services

214

Provision of decision support services on water resource regulation and distribution; and decision support services on reservoir or inter-reservoir operation

4. To amend and supplement Point c, Clause 1, Article 4 of Law No. 64/2020/QH14 on Investment in the Form of Public-Private Partnership, which has a number of articles amended and supplemented under Law No. 03/2022/QH15, as follows:

“c/ Hydraulic work; clean water supply; water drainage and wastewater treatment; waste treatment; water development and storage and water source restoration;”.

5. To annul Article 5 of Law No. 35/2018/QH14 Amending and Supplementing a Number of Articles of Thirty-Seven Laws concerning Planning.

Article 85. Effect

1. This Law takes effect on July 1, 2024, except the cases specified in Clauses 3 and 4 of this Article.

2. Law No. 17/2012/QH13 on Water Resources, which has a number of articles amended and supplemented under Law No. 08/2017/QH14, Law No. 35/2018/QH14, and Law No. 72/2020/QH14 (below referred to as Law No. 17/2012/QH13), ceases to be effective on the effective date of this Law, except the cases specified in Clauses 1, 3 and 5, Article 86 of this Law.

3. The calculation of the charge for grant of the right to extract water resources for domestic use specified at Point b, Clause 1, Article 69 of this Article shall apply from July 1, 2025.

4. The declaration of groundwater extraction by households specified in Clause 4, Article 52 of this Law shall apply from July 1, 2026.

Article 86. Transitional provisions

1. Organizations and individuals that are granted groundwater drilling practice licenses or water resource licenses under Law No. 17/2012/QH13 may continue to carry out the licensed activities until the expiration date stated in their licenses and have their licenses extended, modified or re-granted in accordance with this Law.

2. Organizations and individuals falling into the case specified at Point b, Clause 1, Article 69 of this Law that have been granted water resource licenses for domestic water supply before the effective date of this Law shall pay the charge for grant of the right to extract water resources for domestic water supply in accordance with this Law and complete the declaration and calculation of the charge no later than December 31, 2025.

3. Organizations and individuals falling into the case specified at Point b, Clause 1, Article 69 of this Law that have been granted water resources licenses for agricultural activities before the effective date of this Law but are not obliged to pay the charge for grant of the water resource extraction right under Law No. 17/2012/QH13, are not required to pay the charge for the water resource extraction right for the water volume supplied for agricultural activities until the expiration date stated in their water resource licenses.

4. Organizations and individuals falling into the case specified at Point b, Clause 1, Article 69 of this Law that have licenses for surface water extraction serving agricultural activities granted or extended in accordance with this Law shall pay the charge for grant of the water resource extraction right in accordance with this Law at the same time with payment the charge for use of hydraulic-work products or services when the State no longer implements policies on support for payment of such charge in accordance with the hydraulic work and price laws.

5. In case an organization or individual has submitted a dossier of request for grant, extension, modification or re-grant of a groundwater drilling practice license or water resource license before the effective date of this Law but has not had such license granted, extended, modified or re-granted, the grant, extension, modification or re-grant of such license must comply with Law No. 17/2012/QH13, unless the applicant requests application of the license in accordance with this Law.

6. In case a hydraulic structure was constructed and operated before January 1, 2013, but has not been registered or licensed for water resource extraction and use before the effective date of this Law, the procedures for water resource extraction registration and licensing shall be completed in accordance with this Law no later than June 30, 2027.

7. For provincial master plans that are approved before the effective date of this Law, the contents of plans on water resource extraction, use and protection and water-caused harm remediation in provincial master plans may continue to be implemented until the expiration of such master plans or until such contents are modified.

8. Organizations and individuals falling into the cases specified at Points e and g, Clause 5, Article 52 of this Law that have lakes/reservoirs, ponds, canals and ditches for harvesting, storing and conveying water, creating landscapes and using water surface of rivers, streams, canals, ditches and reservoirs for aquaculture and service provision before the effective date of this Law shall complete the procedures for registration of water resource use in accordance w8ith this Law no later than June 30, 2026.

This Law was passed on November 27, 2023, by the 15th National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, at its 6th session.-

Chairman of the National Assembly
VUONG DINH HUE


[1] Công Báo Nos 41-42 (08/01/2023)

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