|High levels of salinity in underground supplies has created serious shortages of fresh water for nearly 1,000 residents in central Quang Ngai Province's Duc Pho District.— File Photo
QUANG NGAI (VNS)— High levels of salinity in underground supplies has created serious shortages of fresh water for nearly 1,000 residents in central Quang Ngai Province's Duc Pho District.
Salt pollution has affected hundreds of household wells in Thach By 1 and Thach By 2 communes.
"We do not need to add salt if cooking with the water from our family well," said Vo Thi Oanh, a resident in Thach By 2 Commune.
She further revealed that she had recently spent nearly VND1 million (US$48) in digging a new well but its water was as salty as sea water.
To make matters worse, the underground water stains or rusts metal equipment and makes clothes rough and easy to tear.
Oanh said the trees in her garden began to wilt and die after being irrigated with well water.
Nguyen Thi Tuyet, a local at Thach By 1 Commune, each day walks hundreds of metres to a neighbour's house to get fresh water.
Since there is only enough fresh water for drinking, Tuyet and other residents reluctantly use the salty water for cooking, bathing and washing.
Nguyen Ky, chairman of the Pho Thanh Commune, said saltwater infiltration began five years ago, but had become serious since March this year.
The problem is believed to become worse by lack of rain. This has enabled underground water levels to fall below sea level, allowing salt water to infiltrate.
To overcome the problem, authorities propose the province support the building of Cay Xoai reservoir at a cost of VND50 billion (US$2.38 million). This would hopefully supply 90,000 cubic metres of water a day.
"I really hope that the proposal will be accepted," Ky said.—VNS