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Water reserves in Central Highlands running low

Update: October, 06/2015 - 08:00
The 98ha Mo Nong irrigation lake, the main water source to the Chu Pah District, Gia Lai Province, has been short of water as the dry season begins. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Giang

CENTRAL HIGHLANDS (VNS) — Thousands of reservoirs and lakes in Central Highland are short of water for the upcoming dry season.

Central Highlands Standing Steering Committee reported that rainfall filled only 30 per cent of the storage capacity of the reservoirs and lakes.

Rainy season in Central Highland provinces usually starts in May and ends in October but this year, it began in late May and is expected to end in mid-October.

From September, 2015 to February, 2016, rainfall will be about half of the average amount in previous years.

Vice director of Dak Lak Province's Centre for Hydro and Meteorological forecasting, Bui Van Sung said that water volume in major reservoirs and lakes in the province including Krong Buk ha, Vu Bon, Buon Triet Lake and Ea Kao Lake is at about 30 per cent of capacity.

The water level was three metres lower than that of the same period last year, he said.

He added that over 40 irrigation works in the province reached their dead water level, meaning the water's level is so low it cannot be drained by gravity, instead pumps are needed.

Severe drought hit the province last dry season, taking 200 irrigation works out of operation and damaging 4,364 ha of crops worth over VND 2 trillion (US$89 million).

Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mai Trong Dung, said that the upcoming dry season could be harsher than the previous one.

General director of Buon Kuop Hydropower plant, Van Thien Nhan, said that having less rainfall affected its power generation.

In previous years the plant produced about 2.87 billion kWh on average but is expected to produce about 1.87 billion kWh this dry season.

There are over 2,260 irrigation works in Central Highland provinces including 1,150 reservoirs, 942 dams and 114 pumping stations. The works are designed to provide water to almost 270,000 ha but only water about 200,000 ha. — VNS

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