More households in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta’s rural areas have access to fresh water for daily use and irrigation during this dry season.

This is a result of provinces in the Vietnamese region increasing investments in irrigation and clean water supply systems in recent years.

Rural areas in the Delta have normally suffered a shortage of water for irrigation and household use during the dry season because of drought and saltwater intrusion from the sea through river mouths.

With the incidence of such natural and manmade disasters increasing over the past decades, the delta, which is the country’s largest rice, fruit and seafood producer, has built many irrigation and clean water supply works in recent years, reducing fresh water shortage in the dry season.

In Kien Giang Province’s An Minh District, for instance, thousands of households in coastal areas have not suffered a fresh water shortage this dry season because the province has built and put into use a 600,000 cubic metre fresh water reservoir.

Duong Thanh Phong, chairman of the Van Khanh Commune People’s Committee in An Minh, said that in previous years, about 400 households in the commune lacked clean water for daily use in the dry season.

This year, however, they have had access to tap water that they can buy at a low price, he said.

Construction of the first phase of Cai Lon–Cai Be irrigation system in Kien Giang Province, the Kenh Lap Reservoir in Ben Tre Province, the Ha Tien City reservoir in Kien Giang Province, the Vi Thuy District reservoir in Hau Giang Province and other irrigation works have helped secure fresh water for saltwater and drought affected areas, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Cai Lon – Cai Be irrigation system and the Kenh Lap Reservoir are the largest works of their kind in the delta.

Many provinces in the delta are opening clean water supply sites for households in areas affected by dry season shortages.

Tien Giang Province has started reopening 100 free water supply sites in coastal areas in Go Cong Dong, Go Cong Tay and Tan Phu Dong districts as well as Go Cong Town.

The province plans to keep these sites open until the end of May when the rainy season normally begins.

The delta has had received small rainfall since early this month in some coastal provinces including Ben Tre, Tra Vinh and Soc Trang.

It is set to receive rainfall of 10-20 cm in all 13 localities from now until the end of this month, according to the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research.

To increase the supply of clean water for household use, the ministry has approved the construction and upgrade of more clean water supply projects to serve more than 132,000 households in the delta’s seven provinces in the 2022-2025 period.

These projects include building 41 new consolidated clean water supply works, a 230,000 cubic metre reservoir in Tho Chu Island in Kien Giang Province, water treatment stations and other auxiliary water works.