Lack of rainfall and flooding this year has caused one of the worst drought and water scarcity conditions in Vietnam in 30 years. The government has urged southern provinces in Mekong Delta to be on the watch for developments of drought and salt intrusion and put in place stronger measures in order to protect crops and maintain household supply. One of the key provinces will be Ca Mau, where most of the 20,850 households are facing water shortage. Several projects are being undertaken in the province to address water issues:
- New water pipes for 6,000 households who do not have access to tap water
- Upgrades for deteriorating tap water supply systems for over 6,200 households
- Six public bore wells and plastics containers for 4,200 households who live in scattered areas without tap water supply
- A new water system to provide clean water to 4,000 households who live in populated residential areas that have no water supply
The central government has released VND 70 billion (USD 3 million) to the province for prevention and control of drought and saltwater intrusion in the 2019-20 dry season. The funds will be spent on basic water supply Infrastructure including pumping water, dredging canals, building dams, installing water pipes and water treatment facilities. According to the central government, Cau Mau needs VND 230 billion (USD 9.8 million) to complete its water supply Infrastructure.
In many reservoirs countrywide, the water level at the beginning of the dry season is only 40-75% of their designed capacity. Vietnam’s Environment ministry has instructed competent authorities – especially the General Department of Hydro-Meteorology and the Department of Water Resources Management, to focus on forecasting to issue timely warnings for important river basins across the country. The water resources department has been working with major reservoirs to schedule the release of water and balance both the goal of fulfilling the water demands downstream and the goal of retaining enough water to be used for the rest of the dry season, and meet electricity generation requirements (Vietnam obtains nearly 40% of its power requirements from hydro).
(Source: Vietnam News)