City Officials Guarantee No Water Shortage in Rangoon This Summer

By May Soe San 9 March 2016

RANGOON — Rangoon residents need not worry about a water shortage in the commercial capital this summer, said the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC).

“Although it is expected to be hot this year, we will store more water in our reservoirs than in previous years,” said Myo Thein, deputy head of the Water and Sanitation Division of YCDC.

El Niño is expected to cause low rainfall and high temperatures, but YCDC will adjust how they supply water to certain townships.

YCDC plans to pipe water to townships across the Rangoon River, including Dala, Kyimyindaing and Seikgyikanaungto, which had been provided with lake water in previous years. They now pipe water to Dala, and will increase the piped water supply as needed to other townships, said Myo Thein.

However, Dala locals have complained that they still rely on lake water because they do not receive piped water on a regular basis. The township lays just south of Rangoon but is prone to annual summer water shortages.

YCDC supplies about 205 million gallons of water daily from four reservoirs: Hlawga, Ngamokeyeik, Phu Gyi and Joe Phyu.

YCDC said it will supply water in its municipal area mainly from Hlawga, Joe Phyu and Ngamoeyeik reservoirs this summer. The water volume in those reservoirs was almost 86 billion gallons on March 9—an increase from almost 84 billion gallons on the same day last year.

YCDC will ensure a sufficient water supply in Dagon, Seikkan, Thakayta and Dawbon townships. It is also working with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to supply water to Japan-backed Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Thanlyin Township.

“YCDC is establishing a water purification plant, built with loans from Japan,” said Myo Thein. “The plant is now about 90 percent complete. We expect to supply water at full capacity to those townships in 2018-19,” said Myo Thein.

He also explained that because of the increased volume of water in the reservoirs, YCDC does not plan to reduce water usage during the Water Festival, Burma’s New Year celebration. More than 145 million gallons of water were used during the festival last year.