THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
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SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom Happiness
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No. 357/NN/QLN/QD
Hanoi, March 13, 1997
 
DECISION
ISSUING THE PROVISIONAL REGULATION ON THE GRANTING OF PERMITS FOR UNDERGROUND WATER PROSPECTION, EXPLOITATION, DRILLING AND THE REGISTRATION OF UNDERGROUND WATER EXPLOITATION WORKS
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Pursuant to Decree No.73-CP of November 1st, 1995 of the Government defining the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development;
Pursuant to Decision No.354-TTg of May 28, 1996 of the Prime Minister defining the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of the Department for the Management of Water Resources and Irrigation Works under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development;
Pursuant to Directive No.487-TTg of July 30, 1996 of the Prime Minister on enhancing State management over water resources;
Pursuant to the guiding Document No.5073/KTN of October 18, 1996 of the Prime Minister on assigning the task of State management over underground water resources from the Ministry of Industry to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development;
Pursuant to the record on the transfer of the task of State management over underground water resources signed between the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on October 30, 1996;
Pursuant to the guiding Document No.478/KTN of January 29, 1997 of the Prime Minister on the issue of the provisional regulation on the granting of permits for underground water prospection, exploitation and drilling;
At the proposal of the Head of the Department for the Management of Water Resources and Irrigation Works,
DECIDES:
Article 1.-To issue together with this Decision the provisional Regulation on the Granting of Permits for Underground Water Prospection, Exploitation and Drilling and the Registration of Underground Water Exploitation Works for uniform application in the whole country.
Article 2.-The Presidents of the People’s Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government, the Head of the Department for the Management of Water Resources and Irrigation Works; organizations and individuals engaged in prospecting, exploiting and drilling for underground water shall have to implement this Decision.
Article 3.-This Decision takes effect from the date of its signing. The earlier regulations on the procedure for the granting of underground water prospection and exploitation permits which are contrary to this Regulation are now annulled.
 
 
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT


Nguyen Cong Tan
 
PROVISIONAL REGULATION
ON THE GRANTING OF PERMITS FOR UNDERGROUND WATER PROSPECTION, EXPLOITATION, DRILLING AND THE REGISTRATION OF UNDERGROUND WATER EXPLOITATION WORKS
(issued together with Decision No.357 of March 13, 1997 of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
Article 1.- General provisions:
In this Regulation the following terms shall be construed as follows:
- Underground water (water under land surface) is the natural water existing and flowing under the ground and occasionally on the ground.
- Mineral water is the natural undergound water which in some areas may come to the open and contains a number of active biological compounds of high concentration according to Vietnamese standards or foreign standards applicable under the permission of the State of Vietnam.
- Natural hot water is the natural underground water that may in some areas come to the open and always has a temperature meeting Vietnamese standards or foreign standards applicable under the permission of the State of Vietnam.
- Exploitation area is the area where underground water exploitation works are located, including the territory where the level of underground water is lowered due to the pumping of water from the exploitation works.
- Underground water exploitation works are wells, dug or drilled, caves or water exploitation corridors, open-air spots built or used for the exploitation of underground water.
- Underground water exploiting unit is an organization or individual possessing a legal water exploitation permit.
- Construction unit is a State or private enterprise or individual allowed by the State to build underground water exploitation works.
- This Regulation shall apply only to underground water that is tasteless or brackish (not to mineral water and natural hot water).
Article 2.- Exploitation of underground water without need of permission.
- The manual exploitation of a small volume of water for daily use by families from a dug or drilled well having a depth of less than 30 m and a diameter of less than 90 mm.
- In cases where a well size exceeds the limits defined below, it must be registered at the ward/commune People’s Committee:
+ Dug wells with a diameter of more than 2 m or a depth of the well water column exceeding 5 m in the dry season;
+ Drilled wells with a diameter of more than 50 mm or a depth of the water column exceeding 20 m.
Article 3.- The exploitation of underground water for any purpose and in any case, except as stipulated in Article 2, must get permission.
Article 4.- The permission for the exploitation of underground water must comply with the following principles:
4.1- Priority in the use of underground water of good quality shall be given to the needs of daily life, including eating and drinking. For other purposes it can be used only there is a surplus.
4.2- The volume of underground water allowed to be exploited in an area must not exceed the exploitable water reserve of that area and at the same time must conform to the annual exploitation plan and the exploitation plan of the area.
4.3- In areas where the exploited volume of underground water has reached the exploitable reserve, the exploitation must be managed more strictly and the expansion of exploitation is forbidden. Exploitation of underground water is strictly prohibited in areas where the exploited volume has exceeded the prescribed level while supplementary source is not yet available
4.4- The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall assume the main responsibility and coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and the People’s Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government in marking off areas for underground water exploitation and areas banned from underground water exploitation pending the availability of supplementary sources and submit the plan to the Government for ratification.
4.5- The granting of the underground water prospection and exploitation permits must be based on the results of the evaluation of the prospection projects and on water reserves reports of specialized units or specialized councils (to be stipulated for in details by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development).
Article 5.- Competence to grant permits:
5.1- The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall grant permits and organize the management and supervision of permits granting in localities for the prospection, exploitation and drilling of underground water in the whole country.
5.2- The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall adjust, grant and withdraw underground water exploitation permits with regard to concentrated water exploitation works with a flow of 1000 m3 or more per day.
5.3- The Presidents of the People’s Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government (referred to as provincial People’s Committees) shall adjust, grant and withdraw permits with regard to single small-size underground water prospection and exploitation projects with a flow of less than 1000 m3/day.
(The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the provincial People’s Committees shall detail the management responsibilities of the Department for the Management of Water Resources and Irrigation Works, the provincial/municipal Agriculture and Rural Development Services and other specialized agencies).
5.4- In key areas, the granting of underground water prospection and exploitation permits must be controlled more closely. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall consult the provincial and municipal People’s Committees in the above-said areas so as to specifically determine the specific degree of water flow for the assignment of responsibilities in granting permits.
Article 6.- All underground water exploitation works must be registered at the agency competent to grant permits (Points 5.2 and 5.3 of Article 5).
Article 7.- For the exploitation of underground water from drilled pits, dug wells or their substitutes or from exploitation works which have been damaged or have had their exploitation capacity reduced to a pumping capacity and level lower than the prescribed limits, or which are located in the well area already defined in the permits, there shall be no need to obtain the permission but a dossier must be submitted to the permit-granting agency.
Article 8.- New or expanded water exploitation works must be reported to the permit-granting agency. The exploiting unit shall have to submit its plan of application for water exploitation before making the feasibility project.
Article 9.- A dossier of application for underground water prospection and exploitation permit includes:
a/ Application for underground water prospection (if prospection documents are not available in the area):
+ The application for prospection;
+ The prospection plan already ratified by the competent agency;
+ The official dispatch of the local People’s Committee allowing the use of land for prospection or a copy of the certificate of the right to use land at the place of prospection;
+ Other related legal documents.
b/ Application for underground water exploitation:
+ The application for underground water exploitation;
+ The underground water exploitation project;
+ A map of the area and the location of the wells to be exploited.
Enclosed documents include:
+ The results of evaluation of underground water quality made by the provincial/municipal medical service or the competent medical agency or the laboratories authorized by the competent agencies to make such evaluation;
+ A report on the estimated underground water reserve;
+ A copy of the certificate of the right to use land at the place where the exploitation well is located (if the location of the exploitation well does not come under the land use right of the exploiting unit, there must be a written agreement on the land use right between the exploiting unit and the unit having the right to use land with certification by the local People's Committee).
+ Other related legal documents to serve as basis for the granting of permit: The letter of acceptance from other water users if they are affected by the water exploitation (with certification by the local People's Committee).
Article 10.- With regard to an underground water exploitation program in service of daily life in rural areas, the program performing agency shall have to fill the procedures for underground water exploitation in accordance with the projects, plans and guidance of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Health, which are annually ratified by the provincial People's Committees and competent levels.
A dossier of application for water exploitation to be sent to the provincial People’s Committee or the agency authorized by the provincial People's Committee shall include:
- The application for underground water exploitation;
- The underground water exploitation project;
- A map of the exploitation works and locations of underground water exploitation works;
- The list of the works and the names of units allowed to instal their underground water exploitation works.
Article 11.- Submission and ratification procedures :
11-1: Order of application for permission and permit granting:
- The water exploiting unit shall have to send an application describing its plan for underground water prospection and exploitation and other necessary dossiers (according to Article 9a) to the water resource managing agency.
- After receiving the application describing the plan for underground water prospection and exploitation, the Department for Management of Water Resources and Irrigation Works or the provincial/municipal Agriculture and Rural Development Service shall have to consider and make an inspection of the site and prepare documents to be submitted to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development or the President of the provincial People’s Committee for decision.
11-2: After finishing the prospection and trial exploitation and obtaining all practical hydro-geographical documents, the exploiting unit shall have to fully submit those documents and other necessary documents (according to Article 9b) to the dossier receiving agency for evaluation, ratification and submission to the competent higher-level agency which shall issue a decision to allow the water exploitation and the construction of the water exploitation works.
11-3: With regard to the application for exploitation of existing underground water works (drilled wells improved on the basis of pits drilled for underground water prospection with sufficient documents on geology, hydro-geology and hydro-geological stratigraphy, the experimental pumpings and the results of the analyses of the chemical composition and microbes of the water...) the dossier receiving agency shall prepare documents to be submitted to the higher-level agency for decision to permit the exploitation.
11-4: When submitting the water exploitation feasiblity project, the underground water exploiting unit must obtain a written agreement from the water resource managing agency before proceeding with the construction.
11-5: Upon completion of the construction of the water exploitation work and trial pumping, the exploiting unit shall send the document ratifying the feasibility project, the documents on the exploitation wells, the document on trial pumping and the water quality to the water resource managing agency. The water managing agency shall consider the documents before granting the official permit for water exploitation.
Article 12.- In cases where the application for underground water exploitation permit causes a dispute or a litigation, the permit granting agency shall have to inform in writing the applying unit thereof. After the dispute or litigation is settled, the unit applying for water exploitation shall have to apply for a new permit.
Article 13.- The units applying for water exploitation which have been examined, ratified and granted water exploitation permits shall be recorded in a register of units allowed to exploit water for periodical public announcement.
Article 14.- In cases where the dossier of application for water exploitation is insufficient or not valid procedurally, the water resource managing agency shall request the applicant to complete the dossier.
Article 15.- Within one month after receiving the full dossier of application for underground water exploitation, the dossier receiving agency shall have to consider, evaluate the dossier and prepare documents to be submitted to the competent level for decision.
In cases where more time is needed for the completion of the dossier as well as for field inpection and settlement of disputes, the time limit shall be agreed upon by the application receiving agency and the applicant but must not exceed three months.
If the application is rejected, the application receiving agency shall have to reply in writing to the applicant and clearly state the reason(s).
Article 16.- All underground water exploiting units which must obtain permits but have not yet obtained them shall have to fill the procedure for the registration of their underground water works at the water managing agency so as to apply for the water exploitation permits (at the provincial/municipal People’s Committee for an exploitation volume of less than 1000 m3/day; at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for an exploitation volume of 1000 m3 or more per day). Within three months after this regulation takes effect, if registration is not completed, the units shall be sanctioned or have their water exploitation suspended.
Article 17.- In one of the following circumstances, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development or the provincial People�s Committee may decide to reduce or limit the exploitation volume of the unit which has been granted a water exploitation permit:
17.1- For a natural cause, the water sources cannot meet the demand of water supply for the area.
17.2- The excessive exploitation of underground water that causes landslide or contamination of the underground water source.
17.3- The total exploitation volume of water for common use has increased but there is no other source or measures for supplementary supply.
Article 18.- Rights and obligations of units permitted to exploit underground water:
1. A unit which is granted an underground water exploitation permit shall have the right to exploit water in accordance with the permit and be obliged to fully comply with the provisions of the permit, provisions on underground water protection, technical regulations and relevant provisions of law.
2. The underground water exploiting unit shall have to install measurement equipment as prescribed, record and report the exploitation volume as well as the lowered level of water in each period.
3. When the water managing agency inspects the water exploitation situation, the water exploiting unit shall have to cooperate with the agency, assist it and honestly provide it with information on the water exploitation situation.
4. When discovering a major change in the volume and quality of the underground water and the environment, the exploiting unit shall have to promptly report to the water managing agency.
Article 19.- Rights and obligations of units permitted to prospect for underground water:
- To conduct the prospection in accordance with the ratified project;
- To comply with the provisions in the prospection permit, provisions on underground water protection, technical regulations and relevant provisions of law;
- When the water managing agency inspects the exploration situation, the exploring unit shall have to cooperate with, support and honestly provide it with information on the exploration situation;
- To submit reports on exploration;
- Upon fulfillment of the exploration task, it must submit one set of reports to the State Geological Archives and another to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development;
- In cases where the unit wishes to change the exploration plan compared to the ratified project, it must obtain permission from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development or the provincial People's Committee.
Article 20.- In one of the following events, the water exploiting unit shall have to overcome the situation within a certain time limit as decided by the agency granting water exploitation permit:
- Failing to exploit water as prescribed;
- Failing to install measurement equipment within the prescribed time limit;
- Failing to fully provide related data or providing false data;
- Failing to execute the decision on the reduction or limitation of water exploitation volume issued by the water managing agency.
- Failing to observe provisions on environmental protection.
- When the underground water source has dried up, exploitation must be adjusted at the request of the water managing agency.
Article 21.- A unit which exploits water without permit shall have to suspend the exploitation according to a decision issued by the water managing agency.
Article 22.- Procedure for registration of underground water exploitation works
A registration dossier shall include:
- The registration paper of the water exploitation work;
- A map of the area and the location of the water drilling, digging and exploitation work;
- The result of water quality evaluation conducted by the provincial/municipal Health Service or an equivalent competent agency;
- The report on the evaluation of underground water reserve and exploitation situation;
- The document evaluating the underground water reserve (if any);
- The copy of the land use right certificate and the location of the underground water exploitation work. In cases where the land area of the exploitation work does not belong to the land use right of the exploiting unit, there must be a written agreement between the water exploiting unit and the unit having the land use right certified by the local People's Committee.
Within 30 days after receiving the full registration dossier, the dossier receiving agency shall have to consider, inspect the site and prepare documents to be submitted to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development or the President of the provincial/municipal People’s Committee for decision.
Article 23.- Provisions on the professional practice of underground water drilling:
- Organizations and/or individuals having no permits for underground water drilling granted by the State agency for the management of water resources shall not be entitled to drill pits for the exploitation and exploration of underground water (including hand drilled pits).
- Organizations and/or individuals that have been granted permits for the drilling, prospection and exploitation of underground water shall have to meet the following criteria:
The person in charge of technical matters must have a university degree in geology or drilling and at least one year of work in well drilling; or must graduate from an intermediate school in geology or drilling and have at least 3 year of work in well drilling.
Article 24.- Competence to grant permits for well drilling:
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall grant permits for underground water drilling, prospection and exploitation to the central and local enterprises that operate on the territories of at least two provinces.
- The People's Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government shall grant permits for underground water drilling, exploration and exploitation to provincial enterprises, units and individuals operating on the provincial territory.
Article 25.- Rights and obligations of households and enterprises that have been granted permits for well drilling :
- To observe the technical regulations on drilling, the provisions and regulations in the permit on the protection of the water holding layer.
- To periodically report to the permit granting agency on the drilling for prospection and exploitation by their units.
Article 26.- The units which have been granted permits for underground water drilling by other agencies shall have to produce them to the water managing agency so as to be granted new permits. The units which have not obtained permits for underground water drilling shall have to fill permit granting procedures at the competent agencies stipulated in Article 23.
Within 3 months from the date of promulgation of this Regulation, all organizations and individuals drilling wells for underground water exploration and exploitation without permits granted by the water managing agency shall no longer be allowed to conduct water drilling, exploration and exploitation.
Article 27.- The People’s Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government shall base themselves on the above-said provisions to elaborate principles for the detailed implementation in the localities which must not be contrary to the contents and principles of this Regulation.
Article 28.- This Regulation takes effect from the date of its signing. The earlier provisions which are contrary to this Regulation are now annulled.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development