Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vietnam anticipates severe water shortages this year

Vietnam anticipates severe water shortages this year

Vietnam anticipates severe water shortages this year

Rivers across Vietnam are set to face severe water shortages in the coming dry season.

The Vietnam Metrological and Hydrological Administration on Friday said water reserves of northern rivers would remain low between this month and July.

Between this month and April, the water level in the Da river basin to reservoirs of Lai Chau, Son La and Hoa Binh provinces is predicted to be 20 to 50 per cent lower than in previous years.

The Thao river basin will lack 40 to 70 per cent of its water reserves compared to previous years, while the Lo river basin might be 60 to 90 per cent below its normal capacity.

The lowest water level recorded at the Hanoi measuring station on the Red River at the end of this month or early next month is predicted to be 0.2 to 0.3m.

Rivers in the central region and Central Highlands are forecast to suffer severe water shortages over the summer, with volumetric flow rates reducing by 25 to 80 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Between next month and May, Thanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces, as well as Central Highlands localities, will face a water crisis

Between June and August, drought and saline intrusion are set to spread in coastal central provinces from Quang Tri to Khanh Hoa, similarly to the last dry season.

In the south, as the water level in Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake has dropped, the volumetric flow rate on the Mekong River to Vietnam’s Mekong Delta between this month and next month is predicted to reduce between five and 20 per cent compared to 2016.

In mid-March, the flow rate to Kratie Station in the Kingdom might rise as reservoirs will open sluice gates.

The administration’s deputy head Hoang Duc Cuong said saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta will worsen this year, peaking this month.

Department of Water Resources Management deputy head Chau Tran Vinh said as of last month, four of the 11 river basins had suffered water shortages – namely the Ma, Huong, Vu Gia – Thu Bon and Ba rivers.

However, since the beginning of the dry season, many reservoirs had halted discharges of water or stopped generating electricity to ensure water supply for the rest of the season, from five to seven months. Therefore, despite the shortage, the situation had not yet been serious, he said.

Seasonal rainfall between this month and April is forecast to drop by up to 40 per cent compared to previous years, especially in the Central Highlands and southern region, triggering a looming water crisis across the country, the Vietnam Institute of Metrology, Hydrology and Climate Change said.

The National Centre for Water Resources Planning and Investigation said Vietnam’s underground water reserve is 91 billion cubic metres per year including 69 billion cubic metres of fresh water.

The fresh water that has been licensed to exploit is 3.6 billion cubic metres per year or 9.9 million cubic metres per day, it said.

The centre’s director Tong Ngoc Thanh stressed underground water planning as an immediate solution to respond to the water shortage, especially in urban areas, and subsidence due to excessive exploitation in deltas.

Le Cong Thanh, deputy minister of natural resources and environment, asked the Department of Water Resources Management to give early warnings to localities which might face water shortages.

He also urged Vietnam National Mekong Committee to research Cambodia’s Sesan and Srepok rivers and propose a plan with Cambodia over water sharing and requested that the Vietnam Metrological and Hydrological Administration report on saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta.

VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 foreigners in Cambodia, the bulk being from the UK, have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly them out of the Kingdom. The petition is targeted at 15,000 foreigners. Among them are nearly 200 Europeans, the majority

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid

  • PM set to mend ties with US

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has responded to US Congressman Ted Yoho, saying he is ready to improve Cambodia-US relations, and not take up issues of disagreements which have become a barrier between the two countries’ bilateral cooperation. His response to Yoho came after the congressman

  • Mysterious century-old structure found at bottom of Angkor pond

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a mysterious 1,000-year-old structure of a wooden building at the bottom of a pond after the Angkor Wat temple’s conservation team completed restoring its northern cave. The deputy director at ANA’s Angkor International Research and Documentation

  • NBC’s directive to restructure credit targeting four sectors

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) on Friday issued a directive to all banks and financial institutions to restructure credit for loans in four priority sectors, a move lauded by the private sector. The directive aims to maintain financial stability, support economic activity and ease