Daily English Discussion–Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hi everyone,

Here are some news items for today’s discussion.

Nation’s groundwater drained dry by out-of-control well drilling

Underground water levels have decreased remarkably over the last decade due to the reckless drilling of wells for agricultural, household and industrial use, experts warn.

A recent report by the Center for Water Resources Technology and Assessment, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, says groundwater levels are 10 meters lower in Ho Chi Minh City, and six meters lower in Hanoi than they were 10 years ago.

Professor Ngo Dinh Tuan from Hanoi Water Resources University warned that groundwater levels in the Central Highlands were sinking due to the over-irrigation of crops, mainly coffee.

A study done at the university also found that groundwater levels in the Mekong Delta had fallen to 10 meters over the last decade and could run completely dry over the next five years.

“Without proper planning, Ho Chi Minh City’s groundwater could be all used up in only 30 years,” said Huynh Le Khoa from city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Can Tho University professor Le Anh Tuan added that pollution could ruin the groundwater even before it dries out as local authorities have not kept a vigilant eye on open abandoned wells, which act as open veins through which pollution flows into groundwater.

I wonder why do people need to drill wells in the city. Does the article talk about farmers in the outskirts of the city using wells to grow vegetable, or city dwellers drilling wells for home use?

Shouldn’t we have some water management plans and regulations that also cover well drilling?

US, Vietnam discuss peacekeeping, counterterrorism

on Jun 8, 9:00 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States and Vietnam held talks on cooperating in peacekeeping and other military affairs, taking another step to reconcile from their war, officials said.

Greg Delawie, acting assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, and Pham Binh Minh, Vietnam’s vice minister of foreign affairs, took up a range of topics during annual talks, the State Department said.

The dialogue “confirmed the increasingly robust bilateral relationship between the United States and Vietnam,” a joint statement said.


I have always wanted to see Vietnam and the US cooperate on military matters, because that is the highest level of cooperation. This fits well in the improvement of the Vietnam-US relationship which I started to promote at the end of the 1980’s.

Return to the no-game world

VietNamNet Bridge – Nearly two months after the first 8-week computer game rehabilitation course closed, Pham Le Long, a 13-year-old game addict, and nearly 20 other gamers have escaped from their addiction to return to the real world.

“I only surf the web for around one hour a week to seek information and email my friends. I gave up games!” affirmed Long, who lived with computer games day and night before he attended the rehabilitation course held by the Southern Teenage Centre.


Wow! I am happy to see that they have a program to help game addicts!! Good. I love it. These kids should spend time reading Đọt Chuối Non instead.


Thanks chi Kiêm Yến cho the good translation. You have a great way of using Vietnamese language!

Some minor notes:

“To enforce” a law means to execute the law, to arrest violators of the law; it means “thi hành”. “Ban hành” means to promulgate or to issue.

“He requested the Chinese side stop operations.” This is a good example of the use of subjunctive: “The Chinese side stop operations.” (“stop” has no S at the end).

Subjunctive is use to express a request, a wish, a hope… something that is not a fact yet.


Chị Huệ has the lyrics of three songs by Phil Collins in today’s Nhạc Xanh. Translating these lyrics into Vietnamese is a part of our daily challenge. So please feel free to translate and post them either in the page for the songs or in this English Challenge page. And chi Hue will take care of reviewing, commenting on, and doing whatever she wishes with, your comments.

Thank you everyone. Have a wonderful day.


Một suy nghĩ 3 thoughts on “Daily English Discussion–Wednesday, June 10, 2009”

  1. Nation’s groundwater drained dry by out-of-control well drilling

    I think that, underground water levels have decreased remarkably over the last decade not only due to the reckless drilling of wells, but also due to the cutting down so many forests.

    As you know, forestal robbers have eliminated thousands of hectares protective forests spreading all over our nation. Simultaneously, the forest fires also destroyed hundreds of hectares ones every year. This is why there is not enough protective forests to maintain underground water balance.


  2. Thanks, Yến. I have just found this good paper by Ms. Trương Thị Quỳnh Trang (trangtq72@yahoo.com), entitled Water Resources Management in Vietnam, for the Workshop on the Water in Mainland Southeast Asia, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Nov.30-Dec.2, 2005.

    It is at http://www.khmerstudies.org/events/Water/Quynh%20Trang%20Nov%202005.pdf

    According to Quynh Trang, the problems come from the causes:

    1. Lack of comprehensive legal framework caused of losses and failures in water resources management in Vietnam. (Free well drilling, water pollution, forest clearance, as Yến said). No coordination among national and local authorities.

    2. Dams and hydro-power reservoirs have made serious impacts on water quality and environment of estuary and coastal sea.

    3. Socialization and participatory methods is a new trend in water resources management and service in Vietnam. However, “what activities could be and should be socialized” are a question needs more studies and discussions.

    Wonder if anyone has anything new to share.


  3. I have just read on chị Thùy Dương’s Tin Sáng section that the website http://www.moitruong.good.to by three highschool students –Trần Thị Trà Giang, Đặng Thị Hoàng Hà, Bùi Kim Ngân, lớp chuyên sinh K19 Trường THPT chuyên tỉnh Thái Nguyên–has just won first prize in the Water Resources Protection competition.

    We have just put a link to this site on our Thông Tin Cộng Đồng page.

    Wonderful girls! They really inspire me!


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