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Mekong Delta feared to suffer from water shortage

Farmers in the Mekong Delta have been warned to store water for farming as saltwater intrusion is predicted to get more severe from the coming dry season due to the sharp decrease in the floodwater volume in the region.

Nguyen Minh Giam, deputy director of the Southern Regional Hydro-Meteorological Center, told the Daily on Tuesday that saltwater intrusion will start from December this year at river mouths in the delta and will thrust deeper inland compared to previous years.

Normally, salinity intrusion starts in the delta from January or February.

Giam said the reason behind the more severe saltwater intrusion this year is the significant decrease of floodwaters this year, and that the freshwater reserve in the region is now at a low level.

Floods usually rise to level 2 or 3 in September and October every year in the delta and help bring alluvium and aquatic products to the downstream. However, to date, floods still have not reached level 1 in the region.

The floodwater level recorded on Monday at Tan Chau Station on the Tien River was 3.1 meters, which was still lower than level 1 of 3.5 meters. The flood levels measured at My Thuan Station also on the river and at Can Tho Station on the Hau River were both lower than level 1.

In the next four days, the water level upstream the Mekong River is forecast to keep falling.

In March this year, households in coastal districts such as Ba Tri, Binh Dai, and Thanh Phu in Ben Tre Province had to buy freshwater for daily use at the price of VND70,000-100,000 per cubic meter as drought had caused saltwater to intrude deeper into rivers and canals in the area.

Source: Vietnamnet Bridge