In developing countries including Myanmar, urban water security is still one of the great challenges under the Sustainable Development Goals. Fast-growing urban population creates high demands for urban water consumption. Integrated approaches are necessary to ensure that the management, development and utilization of water resources, water infrastructure and water/wastewater treatment.
To get the sustainable water supply system, it should provide the adequate water quantity and appropriate water quality. It can't be accomplished by using the isolated strategies, it needs to use the integrated strategies. So it needs to make man agement not only on the supply side (to avoid water waste) but also on the demand side (to save water individually). In the supply side management, Myanmar people need to improve the water supply sources and facilities, to reduce non-revenue water (NRW), leakages, and energy use. Additionally, the alternative water source needs to be considered for future water supply. In demand side management, water efficient technology needs to be adopted for water consumption reduction. Besides, rules and regulations for water saving is necessary to be enacted and to promote public awareness and individual participation.
Assistant Engineer, U Zaw Win Aung, from Engineering Department of Water and Sanitation, Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) presented " Sustainable Water Supply Management in Yangon City". He included about adequate and appropriate water quality, supply and demand sides in Yangon City, existing water supply system and future plan for providing water supply.
"In Yangon, the problem we are facing now is rapid urbanization development. In 2040, it is expected that the population will reach double of current population," said U Zaw Win Aung.
"It is more challenging for the water supply system day by day. Main water sources are 90% surface water and 10% ground water. Only 45% of demand can be covered with the existing supply system but now, non-revenue water is already reduced from 66% to 52%," he added.
Some of the existing water sources will be no longer in use. Therefore, new sources are needed to implement the demand with supply. As future plans, Kokkowa and Toe rivers will be nominated as new water resources.
"For improving sustainable water, chlorination injection plays an important role. Nowadays, it is running only in the middle of Yangon and there is also a future plan to increase four more supply areas," he mentioned.
Daw Yu Yu Htay, member of MES-WATSAN TD Myanmar Engineering Society (MES)- Mandalay Chapter, presented about "Management and Modelling of Water Supply in Mandalay City, Myanmar".
"In Mandalay, main water supply is mainly obtained from ground water. 50% of total water supply is non-revenue according to the record of 2015. Current problems for water supply system are leakage, commercial losses, pipe network system, etc.," she said.
"The main goal of system is to distribute adequate drinking water in 2040. There are four future action plans like water resources development, water distribution management, customer management improvement and public awareness," she added.
U Khin Maung Yi, Vice Chairman from WATSAN TD- Myanmar Engineering Society (MES) presented about the "2018 World Water Day Global Hits".
He mentioned the six hits:
First Hit - 2/3 of the world's forests is degraded,
Second Hit - around 1.9 billion people live in areas where water is already scarce,
Third Hit - 2/3 of the natural wetlands has disappeared since 1900,
Fourth Hit - many world heritage sites celebrate water from spectacular aqueducts to ingenious water mills,
Fifth Hit - floods, drought and storms have affected over 4 billion people and cause $1 trillion of damage in the past 25 years, and
Sixth Hit - restoring ecosystems creates jobs in areas like recreation, fishing, forestry and agriculture.
Questions and Answers from the Audiences
Q 1 - Even though Pan Hlaing River is not qualified for drinking water, why do you choose this river as one of the future drinking water supply source?
A 1 – Depending upon the project of Pan Hlaing sluice gate, it is expected that to have adequate quality for drinking water after many surveys and experiments but it is not certain.
Q 2 – Why do you ( U Zaw Win Aung ) use the word "appropriate quality of water" instead of "safety quality of water"?
A 2 – Depending upon the demand, for example, drinking water requirements and industrial water requirements cannot be the same. That's why I use the word "appropriate quality of water" instead of "safety quality of water".
Q 3 – What is the plan to control non-revenue water?
A 3 – It is able to reduce 66% to 52% in Yangon ,but it is a long-term plan and also needs modern technologies and qualified materials and labours.
Q 4 – According to the six global HITS, what is your suggestions ( U Khin Maung Yi's ) for Myanmar safety drinking water supply system?
A 4 – The suggestions are to boil the water before drinking and use ultra-filtration if possible due to high cost.
This article was written by a group water reporters during the event. There are 5 youths attended as water reporters. They created the article together, based on their notes and speaker conversation. Later on, they will become water reporters and are willing to create water story together.
(Left to Right - Aye Ko Ko, Yamin Phyu, Phu Thit Kyaw, Kaung Zaw Shein, Aung Bhone Set)