|Thu Bon river.—VNS File Photo
DA NANG (VNS)— Hard-engineering solutions have been adopted on a large scale to deal with the on-going intensive drought that has beleaguered the central coastal provinces, particularly those in the basin of Vu Gia-Thu Bon rivers.
The resolutions were outlined by Dang Duy Hien of the General Department of Irrigation (GDI) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development during an online discussion facilitated by the Government Online Portal in Da Nang City on Sunday.
The solutions include supplying water on an alternating basis, installing on-site pumps and sharing irrigation water.
The official said his ministry had advised farmers at the places without irrigation systems to grow crops that need less water yet yield an equivalent amount.
The ministry had worked closely with the Viet Nam Electricity to operate the hydroelectric reservoirs in a way synchronised with farmers' cultivation activities given that they all required the water sourced from the river.
According to Vo Van Diem, deputy director of Quang Nam Province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, in 2012 the region experienced irregular climate patterns, such as lower levels of rainfall (only 60 per cent of the average amount).
As the winter-spring crop started to grow, a shortage of 135 cubic metres of water was estimated.
During the winter-spring crop, the central provinces, the Central Highlands and the Mekong Delta were all hit by the drought. From Da Nang City to Ninh Thuan Province, there were 4,000 hectares that underwent severe drought.
GDI's Hien provided a comprehensive analysis of the situation.
In the northern part of the central region, a considerable amount of water was left in reservoirs and rainfall had resumed.
In the southern part, while the cultivation area was comparatively small, the place affected by severe drought accounted for a large ratio and the dry season here lasted longer than in the Central Highlands. However the water levels of the reservoirs here were at a very low level.
Meanwhile, more than 32,000 large trees have died due to the prolonged drought and hot weather in the protective forest of Xuan Loc in southern Dong Nai Province, according to the Xuan Loc protective forest management board director Hoang Dinh Long.
"It is the first time that the area has been faced with this situation," said Long. "We have no choice but hope for rain to come soon because many efforts in drought prevention and bringing water from reservoirs have had no effect."
The Dong Nai Provincial Agriculture and Rural Development director Hoang Minh Dao said that severe weather had had a serious impact on agricultural production and people's lives in the province.
The province has asked local authorities to strengthen forest inspections and supervision in efforts to combat the drought. — VNS