The center said weather conditions nationwide have turned worse this year than last year, and forecast that water shortages in south-central provinces would not ease until September despite sparse rain in other parts of the region in the past days. Rainfalls in central coastal provinces in April-September could be low.
Drought comes early in central region
As forecast by the center, water levels in rivers in the central and Central Highlands regions would decline by 30-90% towards August compared to the average levels of previous years.
Hoang Duc Cuong, director of the center, said drought has struck Quang Tri, Quang Binh, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Daklak provinces. Alarmingly, the water volume in reservoirs in Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan provinces has dropped to as low as 10-15% of their holding capacities.
In Binh Thuan Province, the water volume of Da Bac Reservoir in Tuy Phong District has plummeted to 600,000 cubic meters, equivalent to 7% of its capacity of 8.4 million cubic meters and the lowest in recent years.
Huynh Hong Binh, director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ham Tan District in Binh Thuan Province, told the Daily that severe drought in the past months has dried up hundreds of hectares of paddy, corn and cassava in Tan Thang, Son My and Thang Hai communes. The damage caused by drought and water shortages in Ham Tan District alone is estimated at VND5 billion.
Similarly, people in many rural areas in Binh Dinh Province, especially Phu My, Phu Cat and Van Canh districts, have been struggling with a lack of water for daily use and for agricultural farming since early this month. Some 3,000 households in My Chanh Commune, Phu My District are grappling with severe shortages of clean water.
The Binh Dinh Bureau of Irrigation and Storm Prevention and Control forecast some 30 reservoirs would dry up in the summer-autumn crop.
In this summer-autumn crop, Binh Dinh will shift over 2,000 hectares under ineffective rice cultivation to corn, peanut, sesame and pea to deal with the negative impact of weather conditions on agriculture, said Phan Trong Ho, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Farmers worry about unexpected rain
Amid scorching weather in the central region, unexpected torrential rain with average rainfall of nearly 490mm in Ba To District in Quang Ngai Province and 385mm in Tra My District on Saturday morning has made life tougher for local farmers.
Flash floods isolated 400 households in Ba Nam Commune in Ba To District and landslides blocked certain road sections in Ba To and Son Ha districts in Quang Ngai Province.
Torrential rain in the past days has led to flash floods in certain areas of Quang Ngai, Quang Nam and other provinces, and inundated thousands of hectares of crops.
As of March 29 morning, floods had submerged over 7,000 hectares of paddy and more than 2,800 hectares of other crops and fish farming in Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Thua Thien-Hue provinces. Flooding had inundated more than 210 homes in Quang Ngai Province, according to the steering committee for natural calamity control for the central and Central Highlands regions.
Notably, flooding has killed at least two people in Quang Ngai Province.
Saltwater threatens Mekong Delta
In the Mekong Delta region, drought and seawater intrusion are threatening the agricultural sector and the livelihoods of locals.
According to the latest forecast of the Hydrometeorological Forecasting Center for the Southern Region, seawater has made its way around 75 kilometers into the Vam Co Dong River in Long An Province and salinity at Ben Luc Station is measured at 3.4 grams per liter. Meanwhile, the respective figures in the Hau River in Soc Trang Province are 10-30 kilometers and 3.6 grams per liter at Dai Ngai Station and 13.4 grams per liter at Tran De Station.
Salinity at the river mouths in the region is forecast to keep rising and be higher than the average levels of previous years.
According to Tien Giang Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, water levels in paddy fields in districts like Go Cong Dong, Go Cong Tay and Cho Gao are falling fast. To prevent further saltwater intrusion, the province has closed the estuaries, but this will result in water shortages for over 30,000 hectares of paddy and thousands of hectares of crops and lower crop yields.
To deal with severe drought and saltwater intrusion, farmers in Kien Giang Province are encouraged to convert around 65,000 hectares in An Bien, An Minh, Vinh Thuan and U Minh Thuong districts to shrimp farming, said Tran Quang Cui, deputy director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Meanwhile, some fresh water bodies in An Giang Province’s Tinh Bien and Tri Ton have almost dried up, forcing locals to buy water from suppliers in neighboring areas.
Đăng ký: VietNam News