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In south-central Vietnam, 21 reservoirs dries, leaving locals facing water shortage

Friday, April 01, 2016, 19:04 GMT+7

The water levels in reservoirs in a south-central Vietnamese province have plummeted significantly due to prolonged drought in summer-fall, bringing serious consequences to local agriculture.

The statement was made by the Binh Dinh Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on Wednesday at a conference on drought prevention during the period.

The department noted that the water levels in 161 reservoirs have rapidly declined at an average pace of two million cubic meters per week due to prolonged drought weather conditions.

According to a document released by the department, there are currently 376 million cubic meters of water remaining in the reservoirs, accounting for 65 percent of the 578 million cubic meter capacity.

The reservoir in the Kon River is just one example of the devastation caused by the drought, with water levels currently reaching only 46 million of its 168 million cubic meter capacity.

The document also noted that 21 out of the 161 reservoirs have dried up.

Without rain, the current water levels are insufficient for the cultivation of summer-fall crops, the agriculture-rural development department said, estimating that 11,453 hectares of planting area in provincial districts such as Vinh Thanh, Hoai Nhon, Phu My, Phu Cat, Hoai An, Van Canh, Tay Son, and more will suffer from a poor harvest due to the drought.

The severity of drought and extreme weather conditions linked to El Niño looks set to worsen across the country in April, as predicted by Vietnam’s National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting at a weather outlook forum held on Monday.

El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific, according to the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

The phenomenon occurs irregularly at intervals of 2-7 years, although the average is about once every 3-4 years, lasting 12-18 months, NOAA said on its website.

The 2016 El Niño is predicted to be the strongest on record and is likely to cause extreme weather conditions across the globe, APDC’s News reported.

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