The recent heatwave has caused the volume of water stored in Tri An Hydropower Reservoir in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai, which supplies water to over 10 million residents, to decrease sharply and approach the minimum allowable level, Tri An Hydropower Company’s director said on Sunday.
The water level of Tri An Lake, which was built near a section of the Dong Nai River flowing through Vinh Cuu District, some 65 kilometers northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, was 50.5 meters on Sunday morning while the lowest permissible level is 50 meters and the normal level should be 62 meters, according to director Vo Tan Nhan.
This is the lowest water level measured in the man-made lake in over a decade, only second to the record of 49.99 meters in September 2010, when the Tri An Hydropower Plant, which uses water from the reservoir to generate electricity at an installed capacity of 400MW and average annual power output of 1.7 billion kWh, had to operate in alternating sessions.
Besides contributing to the national grid, Tri An Hydropower Reservoir helps regulate floods in downstream areas and provides water for more than 10 million people in Dong Nai and Binh Duong Provinces, as well as Ho Chi Minh City.
Nguyen Huy Phuoc, director of the Dong Nai Hydrometeorological Station, attributed the low water level to the decrease in rainfall in upstream provinces such as Dak Nong and Lam Dong in 2022, and the return of the El Nino weather phenomenon, which generally raises global temperatures.
Despite that, the hydropower plant, the largest of its kind in southern Vietnam, is currently fully-operational thanks to an inter-reservoir operation mechanism, Nhan said, adding that the low water level should not be cause for concern as it had been outlined in his company’s plan and the volume of water pouring into the lake from the upstream provinces is rising.
In addition, the rainy season is expected to begin in Dong Nai between May 10 and 20, and help increase the water amount in the lake, even though the rainfall is forecast to drop by 10 percent compared to other years.
A low water level appropriately prepares the lake for receiving the forecast precipitation, Nhan explained.
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