Mekong Delta province proposes reservoir to mitigate drought, salinity

By Cuu Long   December 16, 2021 | 12:14 am PT
Mekong Delta province proposes reservoir to mitigate drought, salinity
A sluice gate to prevent salinity on the Lang The River in Tra Vinh Province. Photo by the Institute of Water Resources Planning
Tra Vinh Province has sought permission to spend VND2.86 trillion ($124 million) on a reservoir to support agricultural production and local livelihoods.

In a proposal sent to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the provincial administration stated the reservoir would be built along the bank of the Lang The River.

"The project would ensure the security of freshwater sources for agricultural production, daily life, industry and services... for the town of Tra Vinh and two districts of Cang Long and Chau Thanh in the context of increasing drought and saltwater intrusion," Le Van Han, Tra Vinh chairman, said Wednesday.

As proposed, the reservoir will be 6.5 kilometers (4 miles) long, 100 meters wide and 10-15 meters deep.

The project will comprise four sluices to manage and regulate the water level at the estuaries and confluence of Lang The, more than 13 kilometers of embankments, aside from roads and a water supply system.

The entire project will cover a total land area exceeding 24 hectares, and if approved, a current residential area of over 14 hectares earmarked for clearance.

Once complete, it is expected to benefit 52,500 local people. Of these, 41,400 are of working age, with 84 percent earning a living from agriculture.

Before Tra Vinh, other Mekong Delta provinces had either proposed or been approved to build reservoirs in the wake of more severe drought and salinity.

In recent years, seasonal flooding that has benefited the delta, which lies along the downstream reaches of the Mekong River, has been late, deficient or absent. Experts have ascribed this to climate change and the construction of a series of upstream dams.

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