Mekong Delta needs urgent measures to prevent drought, saline-intrusion

Việt Nam News –

Immediate measures and long-term plans should be implemented quickly to help provinces in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta cope with drought and saline intrusion, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Lê Công Thành has said.

Thành has asked the ministry’s Việt Nam Meteorological and Hydrological Administration to improve the monitoring of water flows and salinity rates in the delta’s coastal provinces and cities.

“They need to improve the quality of the forecasting systems and provide detailed assessment of impacts of natural disasters, drought and saltwater intrusion on industries such as agriculture and water supply systems,” he said.

He said the meteorological administration, the ministry’s other functional units and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) should work closely to monitor the discharge of water from reservoirs in the upper area of the Mekong River, and negotiate with neighbouring countries upstream about the use of water resources as well as the construction of hydroelectric dams and reservoirs.

According to the National Centre of Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, total rainfall in the delta was 150 to 250mm in August.

The total water flow in the upstream Mekong Rivers was 28-31 per cent lower than the average amount recorded over many years.

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