Parched Mekong Delta to receive extra water in April

By Vietnam Plus   April 2, 2016 | 07:58 am GMT+7
Parched Mekong Delta to receive extra water in April

A large volume of fresh water from the Mekong River is expected to reach Vietnam on April 12, providing much needed relief to parched provinces around the Delta.

The Southern Irrigation Science Institute has asked localities to take every measure to utilize the water efficiently, especially by opening culverts to make it easier for the water to flow in. However, this water should be tested for salinity first.

The institute predicted that coastal provinces in the Mekong Delta located from 25-40 km from the sea will receive freshwater when the tide recedes.

In Long An province and the Mekong River estuary, the freshwater is forecast to reach its peak between April 12 - 25 when the salinity decreases, the institute said, warning that saline intrusion is likely to recur and reach high levels again in May.

The Southern Regional Hydro-meteorological Department forecasts that this year’s rainy season will arrive later than in previous years, scheduled for the end of May in most southern localities, but total rainfall will be equivalent to the yearly average.

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting said the stormy season is expected to last from June to December this year with about 10-12 storms, of which 6-7 storms will directly affect Vietnam. 

Average temperatures during the rainy season will measure from 0.25-0.5 degrees Celsius higher than in previous years, the centre said.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said about 160,000ha of rice have been ruined due to drought and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta, which means some 1.5 million people have not earned money from rice over the last few months. Also, more than 200,000 families – about 1 million people, do not have enough water for their daily needs, he added.

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