Saline intrusion with a rate of up to nearly 2 grams per liter of water has encroached deep inland in Tien Giang Province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region, and the situation is forecast to continue increasing in days to come, the local irrigation agency warned on Monday.
The highest saltwater rate was recorded at Lac Hong flower garden in the province’s My Tho City on Monday, while in other places, the rates were from 0.06-0.7 gram per liter on the same day, according to the provincial Irrigation Sub-department.
Currently, the saline intrusion has entered more than 50km inland and reached the area of the Tien Giang Politics School in My Tho.
The saline intrusion in localities located by the Tien and Ham Luong rivers will continue increasing in the first days of this week under the influence of high tide, the agency predicted.
After that, salinity will decrease but will still be recorded at about 1 gram per liter of water at Xuan Hoa sluice in the province’s Cho Gao District.
It is expected that from the end of February to the beginning of March, Xuan Hoa sluice gate will officially close to prevent saltwater intrusion and ensure the supply of fresh water source for farming as well as other daily activities.
To protect agricultural production, all the other saltwater prevention sluices in My Tho City, Cho Gao District and two coastal districts Go Cong Tay and Go Cong Dong will also be closed.
|This aerial photo shows Xuan Hoa sluice in Cho Gao District, Tien Giang Province, Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region. Photo: Hoai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Currently, fresh water sources in the inland canals in Tien Giang are still abundant, enough to feed over 23,000 hectares of winter-spring rice fields in the districts of Cho Gao, Go Cong Tay and Go Cong Dong, and the town of Go Cong, the sub-department said.
All six irrigation works along the Tien River in the districts of Chau Thanh and Cai Lay have been completed and put into operation, and they are ready to be closed against saline intrusion.
Last month, the National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting warned that this year’s dry season may see more severe inland saltwater intrusion than last year, putting Vietnam's Mekong Delta region at risk of a fresh water shortage in the February-April period.
The center also forecast that during the ongoing dry season, saline intrusion is expected to surpass the average levels observed in previous years.
This phenomenon, attributed to the El Nino, may cause a fresh water dearth in many localities in the region, result in unconventional weather patterns and natural disasters, the center warned.
Beside Tien Giang, the Mekong Delta region also consists of Can Tho City and 11 other provinces including Long An, An Giang, Vinh Long, Ben Tre, Bac Lieu, Soc Trang, Tra Vinh, Dong Thap, Kien Giang, Hau Giang and Ca Mau.