Valuation Study

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Cost-effective Water Pollution Control


Medium: Water

Country: Vietnam

Analytical Framework(s): Least Cost Concept

Study Date: 2006

Publication Date: 2009

Major Result(s)

Resource/Environmental Good VND, per cubic meter
VND, per cubic meter
USD, per cubic meter
Treatment cost for a small treatment plant for every household 1,978.00 3,544.30 0.17
Treatment cost for a treatment plant for a group of processing households 4,480.00 8,027.53 0.38
Treatment cost for a treatment plant for the whole village 2,008.00 3,598.05 0.17

About the Inflation Adjustment: Prices in Vietnam (VND) changed by 79.19% from 2006 to 2014 (aggregated from annual CPI data), so the study values were multiplied by 1.79 to express them in 2014 prices. The study values could be expressed in any desired year (for example, to 2022) by following the same inflation calculation and being sensitive to directional (forward/backward) aggregations using your own CPI/inflation data.

Study Note: Agro-product processing is one of the major handicraft activities in the Red River Delta where more than half of the handicraft villages in Vietnam are located. Despite its important role in employment and income generation for rural households, agro-product processing generates a huge amount of waste, especially wastewater, and agro-product processing villages are considered serious polluters in the region.

Study Details

Reference: Nguyen Mau Dung. 2009. Pollution Control Options for Handicraft Villages. EEPSEA Research Report, No. 2009-RR4.

Summary: This study presents an analysis of the environmental consequences of agroproduct processing and the cost-effectiveness of pollution control options in the village of Duong Lieu which is famous in the Red River Delta for agro-product processing. There are currently more than 500 households in Duong Lieu engaged in agro-product processing. On average, each household produces more than one tonne of cassava starch per processing day and discharges around 15 m3 of untreated wastewater with heavy effluents of COD, BOD and SS into the environment. The wastewater causes serious pollution in the village, leading to a high incidence of ailments such as headaches, backaches, respiratory diseases, skin irritation, stomachaches, sore eyes, and cancer. Three pollution control options are evaluated: (1) a small treatment plant for every household; (2) a treatment plant for a group of processing households; and (3) a treatment plant for the whole village. A cost-effectiveness analysis found Option 1 to be the most cost-effective. This option is quite sensitive to increasing level of construction cost. When construction cost was increased by 10%, Option 3 became the most cost-effective. An analysis of the social acceptability of the three options was also done through focus group discussions. Option 1 which entails the construction of a 45m3 underground tank by each household was quite difficult for most households due to limited space. Option 3 was the most widely accepted; it had the lowest treatment costs per cubic meter of wastewater and there was available space for treatment plant establishment. It was perceived to be the most likely to get financial support and completely solve the water pollution problem in the village. Among the study's recommendations to mitigate the environmental pollution in Duong Lieu were the establishment of a wastewater treatment plant for the whole village, the collection of wastewater fees from processing households, improving the sewerage system in the village, mobilizing the participation of households in environmental sanitation activities, and encouraging the application of cleaner production technologies in the agro-product processing industry.

Site Characteristics: Located in the Red River Delta, Ha Tay Province is famous for its high density of handicraft villages and diversified handicraft products. Ha Tay was therefore selected as the representative province for the Red River Delta in terms of handicraft development. Currently, there are 120 handicraft villages in Ha Tay Province, mainly involved in carpentry, weaving, lacquering, agro-products processing, rattan and bamboo handing, and metal recycling. Of these, agro-product processing is carried out in 17 villages. Twelve of 17 focus on starch and noodle production (Ha Tay Department of Industry 2001). Duong Lieu, one of the 12 villages, was chosen as the research site as it had a very high percentage of households engaged in starch processing activities and pollution in the village was at alarming levels. The wastewater from agro-product processing villages has very high concentrations of BOD, COD and SS in compared with other pollutants. One liter of the wastewater from the processing of cassava and canna contains 6,214-7,378 mg of COD (60-70 times higher than the allowed limit), 486-551 mg of BOD (10 times higher than the allowed limit), and 1,466-3,012 mg SS (14-30 times higher than the allowed limit). Therefore, the pollution control options in this study only deal with BOD, COD and SS.

Comments: The proponent noted that due to time and resource limitations, this study mainly focused on water pollution from agro-product processing. The reason was because agro-product processing villages generated high wastewater volumes but small air waste volumes in comparison with other types of handicraft villages.