Da Nang water woes: seawater enters river four months too early

By Nguyen Dong   February 22, 2019 | 06:01 pm PT
Seawater has begun to intrude into Da Nang’s Cau Do River several months earlier than usual, affecting its one million population.

The salinity level at the Cau Do water plant, which accounts for 80 percent of the central city’s water supply, has been rising since February 2 and often exceeding 1,000 mg/l.

The salt intrusion usually occurs at the end of the dry season in May-June.

Ho Huong, director of the Da Nang Join Stock Water Supply Company (Dawaco), said this is the earliest this has happened in the city.

Da Nang is pumping water from salinity prevention station of An Trach to generate enough raw water for producing drinking water. Photo by Nguyen Dong.

Water being pumped from a salinity prevention station in Da Nang as saltwater intrusion has started months too early this year. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

Huynh Van Thang, former deputy director of the city Department of Agriculture and Development, also said the salt intrusion is "unprecedented," blaming it on a prolonged drought in the central region last year.

Tap water is becoming increasingly brackish though Dawaco said it still meets the national drinking water standards.

The environment department has urged Dawaco to consider asking for release of water by major hydropower dams in the area.

Dams in Quang Nam Province to the north have agreed to provide water to Da Nang until June. 

The city has called on the public to save and reuse water.

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