Yangon City takes steps to conserve groundwater amid growing demand

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Yangon residents sinking the groundwater well.

The Engineering Department (Water and Sanitation) of the Yangon City Development Committee is educating citizens in specific Yangon’s townships to reduce groundwater usage due to its increasing consumption, leading to a decline in quality.
Daw Ei Khine Mon, Assistant Director of the department, stated, “With the growing populations in the new townships, there’s a corresponding surge in water consumption. This has resulted in a decline in the groundwater table and its quality. In certain areas, the groundwater has deteriorated to the extent that it’s unfit for human consumption”.
She added that the department has been collecting freshwater in wells as part of a pilot project to replenish the groundwater.
Currently, the department supplies water to 33 townships in the Yangon municipal area through the surface water system sourced from reservoirs at Gyobyu, Phugyi, Hlawga, and Ngamoeyeik. The collective daily consumption has exceeded 200 million gallons.
In March 2021, the department initiated the Hlaing River-Hlawga water supply project to reduce reliance on groundwater during the summer.
Additional initiatives include building emergency water reservoirs, distributing water through containers, gathering freshwater in wells to recharge groundwater, and providing education on collecting rainwater for future use. — ASH/NT

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