Reservoir discharge to ease Mekong Delta drought

By Hoang Nam   April 24, 2024 | 12:51 am PT
Reservoir discharge to ease Mekong Delta drought
A scene of the Dau Tieng Reservoir in southern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan
Around 7 million m3 of water from Dau Tieng Reservoir will be discharged into the Vam Co Dong River to alleviate salt intrusion, as water shortages affect over 20,000 lives in the Mekong Delta's Long An province.

Nguyen Thanh Truyen, director of Long An Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, on Tuesday said the water discharge would be carried out in the next few days.

The Southern Irrigation Management One Member company will discharge water from the reservoir to the Phuoc Hoi-Ben Dinh channel in Tay Ninh Province, which would eventually arrive in Vam Co Dong River, around 60 km away.

After freshwater sources at the channel are ensured, localities will store the water in fields for use. People are encouraged to increase their freshwater sources so there can be enough water for the summer-fall planting season.

Over 20,000 people in numerous districts of Long An, a neighbor of HCMC, have been suffering from water shortages amid the ongoing dry season. The province has declared a state of emergency due to droughts, proposing to the government to supply it with over VND160 billion ($6.3 million) to secure water supplies.

The Long An agriculture department also requested local water companies to use water from Dau Tieng to limit salinity, ensuring enough freshwater for locals.

Dau Tieng, spanning 270 km2, is the largest irrigation lake in Vietnam and spans the three provinces of Tay Ninh, Binh Duong and Binh Phuoc around HCMC. Besides regulating water coming to the Saigon River, the lake also serves agriculture production in Tay Ninh, Binh Duong, HCMC and Long An.

While drought and salt intrusion in the Mekong Delta this year are not as severe as in 2016 or 2020, they have been long-lasting, and tens of thousands of families are suffering as a result.

Meteorologists said droughts are expected to last until the end of April at least.

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