Drought and saline intrusion in Mekong Delta and the International Day of Action for Rivers 14/3/2020

From the end of 2019 and early 2020, drought and saline intrusion are causing severe damage to the Mekong Delta region. This saline drought is expected to last until the end of April 2020 with the level of severity surpassing the drought and saline intrusion level in 2015-2016.

Drought and saline intrusion has damaged 5 provinces including Kien Giang, Ben Tre, Tien Giang, Ca Mau and Long An. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, up to now, the total damage caused by drought and saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta region is about 39,000 ha for the 2019 and winter-spring rice crop 2019-2020. Many areas of fruit are also affected, withered and fell. Besides water for production, domestic water is also a problem for the Mekong Delta. In many places, the water source is exhausted, exceeding the endurance of people, they are forced to spend large amounts of money to buy water for use.

Drought and saline intrusion is happening frequently and more severely for many reasons. One of that is the rainfall situation in the watershed area ceased early so the Mekong River basin has less water in the rainy season. The water flow to the Mekong Delta is seriously lacking compared to the average of many years, even lower than the whole of 2015-2016. In addition to severe weather phenomena, along with climate change, sea-level rise, human impact in transboundary water use, upstream storage reservoirs have not increased the amount of discharge, saline intrusion may continue to remain high until April and become more and more unpredictable.

The theme of the International Day of Action for Rivers this year is “Women, Water and Climate Change”, wants to emphasize that with the increase of climate change, it is seriously affecting water resources in the rivers. We need to act now to reverse the impacts that are happening on the rivers.

Vietnam Rivers Network (VRN) as an open forum with the participation of representatives of Vietnamese science and technology organizations, scientists, researchers, officials of housing agencies and people in communities that are concerned about the protection of water resources and sustainable development in Vietnam, would like to propose to all stakeholders to join in the International Day of Action for Rivers, reverse the effects of climate change and saline drought are besieging the Mekong Delta. Towards the sustainable development of rivers, preserve and sustainable development of precious water resources of the rivers for us today and for our future generations, let’s join hands to protecting water resources and rivers as protecting our blood and veins.

Vietnam Rivers Network

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