Yangon City Development Committee announced that it would not provide water supplies to proposed construction projects of buildings with 12 or more storeys.
As the constant increase of high-rise apartment buildings in Yangon puts more pressure on the public water utility, the new developers of taller buildings must prepare for this strained water supply, YCDC said.
Contractors proposing to build new high rises will have to consider digging tube wells to ensure adequate water supply for residents. New buildings with less than 12 stories will still be covered by the public utility, according to YCDC.
“We have been facing a water supply shortage problem for quite a while. We have to cut new buildings out of the program, otherwise townships that have always been supplied would not get adequate water,” a senior official from Engineering Department (Water and Sanitation) of YCDC said.
Yangon regional government has planned to take a loan of K4.21 billion ($4.2 million) from Japan during 2014-15 fiscal year to invest in the region’s public water utility, said Dr Myint Thein, Yangon regional minister for Social Affairs, at a regional parliament session.
The loan terms entail an interest rate of 0.01 percent over a 40-year period, with an interest exemption benefit for the first 10 years. Japan has also planned to provide a grant of K10.2 billion ($10.2 million) to help improve the public utility.
“Regulations on the extraction of ground water need to be established. If ground water is over-extracted, Yangon might experience land subsidence,” said Dr Khin Ni Ni Thein, secretary of the Expert Team from the National Committee on Water Resources.
“Constructors building high-rises should dig tube wells. It is difficult for YCDC to pump supplies to large heights. I don’t think there will be much impact if they cut the supplies,” told U Ko Ko Lay, director of Three Friends Construction Co.
Currently the public utility under YCDC is supplying nearly 200 million gallons of water a day, which is meeting only 60 percent of the demand, forcing many people to get water by themselves, mostly through pumping groundwater.
To allay the situation YCDC is working together with the Japanese government’s aid agency, JICA, to prepare and implement relevant projects while also conducting river water pumping projects.
YCDC is set to invest K14 billion during 2104-15FY jointly with JICA to improve the reigon’s public utilities, while it has prepared a budget of K200 billion ($200 million) to utilise in the upcoming fiscal year.