Measures set forth to cope with drought
  • | | March 13, 2010 06:54 PM

Cuu Long Delta’s rivers are drying out (Photo taken on March 9)

Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta is suffering from drought and the salination of inland water bodies via river mouths.

The water of Cuu Long Delta is at record low levels due to the severe water shortage from the up-stream of the Mekong River.

On March 12 at Soc Trang Province in the Cuu Long Delta of southern Vietnam, the Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development Cao Phuc Phat led a conference held with leaders from 12 provinces of Cuu Long Delta on solutions to ensuring enough water serving production and as well as addressing the need to limiting damages and losses due to hot weather and drought.

According to the Cultivation Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, salt water intrusion will affect the winter-spring rice crop of 2009-2010 by about 620,000ha out of 1,545,000ha in Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Kien Giang and Ben Tre provinces.

The Department of Irrigation said that salt water has covered from 45 to 70 km length of the inland.

Luong Ngoc Lan, Deputy Manager of Bac Lieu’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development forecasted that salt water would effect 20,000 ha in Bac Lieu, 50,000 ha in Long An, 40,000ha in Soc Trang, 30,000ha in Hau Giang and 120,000ha in Kien Giang for summer-autumn crop.

As part of the event, Cuu Long Delta’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development requested that the Ministry provide VND220 billion ($11.5 million) for the irrigation of 550,000ha of rice during the summer-autumn crop.

Lan added that, “The irrigation system here needs to be providing both fresh and salt water which has not been completed yet and thus, the provision of freshwater from up-stream to water rice leads to a salt water shortage for keeping shrimp. It’s very difficult to provide enough water for both rice crops and shrimp.”

Under such urgent circumstances, Cao Duc Phat directed all provinces to implement more comprehensive and effective solutions.

Accordingly, the Vietnam Institute for Water Resources Research in collaboration with Irrigation Department and Hydro-Meteorological Bureau will continue observing the development of the Mekong River in order to better understand the overall impacts in the region so that they can come up with appropriate solutions.

Regarding rice crops, it’s necessary to choose the best time to grow new crops in each area.

In addition, it’s necessary to provide enough of both fresh and salt water in a timely fashion, as well as monitoring water environment development.

Winter-Spring rice crop is under threat due to drought (Photo taken on March 9 in Bac Lieu)

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