Shortages eased as Mekong delta expands water supply investments

March 29, 2022 - 08:25

More households in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta’s rural areas have access to fresh water for daily use and irrigation this dry season.


The first phase of Cái Lớn – Cái Bé irrigation system in Kiên Giang Province became operational early this month. The system irrigates 280,000 farming areas in Kiên Giang, Hậu Giang, Cà Mau and Bạc Liêu provinces. — VNA/VNS Photo Lê Sen

HCM CITY — More households in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta’s rural areas have access to fresh water for daily use and irrigation during this dry season.

This is a result of provinces in the region increasing investments in irrigation and clean water supply systems in recent years.

Rural areas in the Delta have normally suffered a shortage of water for irrigation and household use during the dry season because of drought and saltwater intrusion from the sea through river mouths.

With the incidence of such natural and manmade disasters increasing over the past decades, the delta, which is the country’s largest rice, fruit and seafood producer, has built many irrigation and clean water supply works in recent years, reducing fresh water shortage in the dry season.

In Kiên Giang Province’s An Minh District, for instance, thousands of households in coastal areas have not suffered a fresh water shortage this dry season because the province has built and put into use a 600,000 cu.m fresh water reservoir.

Dương Thanh Phong, chairman of the Vân Khánh Commune People’s Committee in An Minh, said that in previous years, about 400 households in the commune lacked clean water for daily use in the dry season.

This year, however, they have had access to tap water that they can buy at a low price, he said.

Construction of the first phase of Cái Lớn – Cái Bé irrigation system in Kiên Giang Province, the Kênh Lấp Reservoir in Bến Tre Province, the Hà Tiên City reservoir in Kiên Giang Province, the Vị Thuỷ District reservoir in Hậu Giang Province and other irrigation works have helped secure fresh water for saltwater and drought affected areas, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Cái Lớn – Cái Bé irrigation system and the Kênh Lấp Reservoir are the largest works of their kind in the delta.

Many provinces in the delta are opening clean water supply sites for households in areas affected by dry season shortages.

Tiền Giang Province has started reopening 100 free water supply sites in coastal areas in Gò Công Đông, Gò Công Tây and Tân Phú Đông districts as well as Gò Công Town.

The province plans to keep these sites open until the end of May when the rainy season normally begins.

The delta has had received small rainfall since early this month in some coastal provinces including Bến Tre, Trà Vinh and Sóc Trăng.

It is set to receive rainfall of 10-20 cm in all 13 localities from now until the end of this month, according to the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research.

To increase the supply of clean water for household use, the ministry has approved the construction and upgrade of more clean water supply projects to serve more than 132,000 households in the delta’s seven provinces in the 2022 - 25 period.

These projects include building 41 new consolidated clean water supply works, a 230,000cu.m reservoir in Thổ Chu Island in Kiên Giang Province, water treatment stations and other auxiliary water works. — VNS