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Water scarcity hits central Vietnam due to drought, saltwater intrusion

Monday, August 26, 2019, 15:37 GMT+7
Water scarcity hits central Vietnam due to drought, saltwater intrusion
Fresh water is distributed in a neighborhood in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang. Photo: Truong Trung / Tuoi Tre

Drought and saltwater intrusion have recently resulted in serious water shortages in central Vietnam, as authorities warned that the situation could linger until mid-September.

Multiple heatwaves have caused average temperatures to rise in central provinces for the past month have, said Chu Ngoc Thang, an official at the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

Average rainfall in the region has decreased by 60 to 80 percent compared to the same period of previous years, Thang stated, adding the flow of local streams and rivers has also declined.

Drought and saltwater intrusion brought about by the weather pattern have led to severe water scarcity in the localities between central Quang Nam Province and south-central Phu Yen Province.

According to Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Le Cong Thanh, water levels in many reservoirs in central and southern Vietnam have reached an alarming low.

In the central city of Da Nang, the remaining volume of fresh water in local reservoirs is only about 40 million cubic meters.

If the absence of rain continues, water resources in these reservoirs will run out in six to eight days, Deputy Minister Thanh elaborated.

The Da Nang Water Company (Dawaco) was able to produce approximately 310,000 cubic meters of fresh water on Sunday, which was enough to meet the demand of local residents, said Phan Luu, the firm’s deputy director.

Water shortage hit Da Nang last week after the Cau Do River, which is the primary source of input water for Dawaco, was affected by saltwater intrusion.

It did rain on Sunday afternoon but the saline level in the river was still high.

The municipal administration is expected to build a temporary dam along the waterway to ameliorate the situation.

According to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, the lack of rain is forecast to linger until mid-September, which may exacerbate the water scarcity in central and south-central localities.

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