From 2016 to 2019, the AWP supported the Australian Water Association (AWA) to facilitate twinning relationships between Vietnamese and Australian water utilities; developing the capacity of Vietnamese water utilities in asset management, water technology, operator accreditation, minimising non-revenue water, water safety plans, business management and public-private partnerships.
Access to clean drinking water and safe disposal of wastewater are two of the major issues facing developing countries today. There are thousands of rivers in Vietnam, but the country battles with uneven rainfall distribution, extreme weather events, water quality issues and a lack of physical infrastructure—all leading to water supply and treatment issues.
In 2016, AWA received a request from the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Vice Minister of Construction and the CEO of the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association (VWSA) for capacity development of Vietnamese water utilities through the establishment of twinning relationships with utilities from Australia. With AWP support, water utility twinning relationships were established between five Vietnamese and five Australian water utilities.
Over the three-year period, mutually beneficial relationships were formed and capacity developed within both the Vietnamese and Australian twins. A team effort of 39 Vietnamese utility staff who worked closely with 61 Australian utility staff to together develop the capacity of 1,036 Vietnam water utility staff. There were improvements in the management of water supply and wastewater assets, technology innovations and service efficiencies, non-revenue water, customer and community engagement, and human resources development and governance. Australian utilities also shared tools and resources with their Vietnam counterparts including incident management flowcharts, risk assessment plans, and donations of water quality analytical equipment.
As a result of the WUIP, 10,681,765 water utility customers in Ho Chi Minh City, Son La, Hue, Binh Duong and Phu Tho received improved delivery of water services.