Short press review on Groundwater/Mekong Delta from January to April, 2016
- Experts warn coastal groundwater overused.
Overexploitation of groundwater by households has been blamed for an alarming drop in groundwater levels along thousands of kilometers of coast stretching from Hai Phong City to Ca Mau Province.
The groundwater exploited daily in the country is about five million cubic meters a day and predicting the number to rise further to meet new demands thrown up by urbanization and development.
Experts also blamed the lack of knowledge among the public about groundwater and climate change and sea level rise for the declining water tables, land subsidence, water pollution, and saltwater intrusion in coastal provinces.
The overexploitation of groundwater had caused land subsidence in HCM City, Ca Mau Ptovince, and Can Tho City, warning the challenge was immense since Viet Nam has 3,000km of coastline.
- Salt intrusion and drought and its effect in Mekong Delta.
All 13 provinces in Mekong Delta have been experiencing the most drought and salt water intrusion in the past nearly 100 years.
This year, the salt water intrusion occurred 2 months earlier than in the previous year and will prolong until the end of July.
The salinity in the Vam Co, Tien and Hau rivers and other river near the West Sea is now higher than usual. The salt water has intruded upstream 50 – 60 km into the mainland, and even 93 km in the Vam Co river’s neighborhood, about 15 – 20km further than the previous year.
8 provinces of Mekong Delta including: Kien Giang, Ben Tre, Kien Giang, Soc Trang, Long An, Ca Mau, Vinh Long and Tra Vinh have announced an emergency state in drought and salinity.
- Loss due to salt intrusion, drought in Mekong Delta
The ongoing drought and saltwater intrusion has caused serious damages to rice and fruit tree-growing areas, forests, agriculture and animal husbandry, as well as freshwater shortages in many southern cities and provinces.
Up to middle-March, 2016 the 13 provinces of the Mekong Delta were seriously affected by drought and salinization.
- 7 provinces and cities in Mekong Delta receive clean water
Provinces and cities namely Can Tho, An Giang, Hau Giang, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Kien Giang shall be beneficial from the project on “Safe water supply for Mekong River Delta” which is financed by the World Bank (WB) loan.
The main objective of the project is to study and develop a water supply system that can ensure sufficient supply capacity and water quality and the domestic and production water needs of provinces and cities in the South Western part of Hau River for the development period between 2025 and 2030. This is also in line with socioeconomic development plan and overall construction plan in the Mekong River Delta.
- Mekong Delta receives water from Laos and China to deal with drought, salt intrusion
Laos will discharge around 1,136 m3 of water to the lower Mekong River basin from March 23 to the end of May this year.
In addition, China said they would quickly discharge water from its dam from March 15 to April 4 on Mekong River to help mitigate severe drought in some Vietnam provinces.
Along with the water released from several rivers of Thailand, the total amount of extra water volume from the upper Mekong River flowing down to Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam will be about 3,611m3/s. The water arrived in the Mekong Delta in the first week of April, 2016.