The water levels of the upper Mekong River are declining quickly and have reached the lowest level in 9 decades, leading to serious water shortages during the dry season (usually from November to April). Meanwhile, The Mekong Delta has nearly 4 million ha of farmland, accounting for almost 30% of Vietnam’s total farmland area, with over 50% under rice.
Initial statistics show that over 1/3 of the commune’s 1,700 families need assistance, and the number of impoverished households, 98 at present, is likely to increase sharply in the near future, the official added.
Mekong Delta farmers are struggling with the worst water shortages and saltwater intrusion in nearly a century
According to the Vietnam Academy for Water Resources, saltwater will encroach deep into most of the Mekong Delta in the 2015-2016 dry season. Many areas that have never experienced saline intrusion, such as Vinh Long province and Chau Thanh district and Nga Bay township of Hau Giang province, will experience the phenomenon.
About half of the farmland in Hau Giang and Kien Giang provinces is predicted to be ruined by saltwater, which will impact all farmland in Ca Mau, Bac Lieu and Soc Trang provinces.
In Long An province’s Tan An city in particular, saltwater with salinity of up to 10 - 12 grammes/litre is likely to enter 85km deep into the mainland in May if there is a lack of rain and timely prevention measures, the academy predicted.