Mekong Delta sees water levels fall
CUU LONG DELTA (VNS)— Water levels in Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta rivers since the beginning of this year's flooding season has been 0.3-0.8 metre lower than average, according to the Central Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Centre.
The water flow at upstream stretches of the Mekong River this year is 6-34 per cent lower than normal average levels because of less rainfall in the first three months of this year's rainy season.
Vo Thanh, director of An Giang Province's Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, said water levels in upstream areas of the Tien and Hau rivers, two major tributaries of the Mekong, are now about one metre lower than the same period last year.
Every year, the Tha La and Tra Su spillways release floodwaters from the end of August to September 5, but this year they have not done so because of the low water levels, according to the An Giang Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control.
At the Tien River in Tan Chau station in An Giang Province on Tuesday, the water level was 2.75 metres, 0.75 metre lower than the first warning level.
Water levels are rising and would reach their peak in mid October, according to the met office.
Many farmers in An Giang and Dong Thap, normally the hardest flood-hit provinces, said the quantity of fish and other aquatic species caught since the beginning of this year's flooding season was just 60 per cent of the same period last year because of low water levels.
In An Giang, the water level in paddy fields in Tinh Bien District and Chau Doc Town was about 0.5-1 metre high while it just topped the height of rice stubbles in downstream districts of Phu Tan and Chau Thanh.
The flooding season normally begins in September but came a month early this year and last year.
The flooding season is also a season for farmers in the Delta to raise fish and shrimp in paddy fields, grow lotuses and water chestnut, and make boats, tools and nets for fishing. — VNS