Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Water levels are rising quickly in areas adjacent to Cambodia in Đồng Tháp Province, weather forcasting and local authorities have reported.
According to the National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Centre, the water level is currently 2.33 metres at Tân Châu station at the Tiền River and 1.95 metres at Châu Đốc station at the Hậu River, 0.2-0.3 metres higher than the same period last year.
The water level is forecast to reach its peak of 2.9 metres at Tân Châu and 2.45 metres at Châu Đốc today and tomorrow, respectively, about a half metre higher than the same period last year.
Farmers and fishermen have been waiting for the annual flooding season to earn more money as the water is expected to wash away saline residue and protect aquatic resources.
Farmers living in coastal areas in Cà Mau, Bạc Liêu, Sóc Trăng and Kiên Giang provinces are relieved that water is slowing from the Mekong River as they will not have to face drought or saline intrusion, which occurred last year with devastating consequences.
For the last few days, farmers have been catching linh fish, a specialty caught during the flooding season in the Mekong Delta.
Phạm Út, 70, who lives in Đồng Tháp Province’s Hồng Ngự District, which borders Cambodia, said the soil had become impoverished this year.
Út usually plants three crops a year, but he decided to plant only two crops this year to wait for the water to enter the closed embankment, as required by district authorities.
“For many years, farmers who grew three crops a year faced low productivity because of the exhausted soil, and the fishery resources also became depleted. I hope the flood season this year arrives soon so we can take advantage of it,” Út said.
In the past, farmers in the Mekong Delta struggled to find ways to “live with the floods”, including resettling to other areas, if necessary.
To cope with flooding, the government has issued many policies to give loans to farmers to rebuild or improve their houses.
Closed dikes have also been built to help farmers protect their rice fields from flooding.
However, water from the Mekong River has been decreasing in recent years in Delta.
For many years, the region has had no flood season, causing a decline in fishery resources and production losses.
Traditional crafts such as knitting nets and building of fishing boats have also become rare.
Út and many farmers like him in the Mekong Delta are concerned that countries through which the Mekong River traverses are continuing to build dams at a fast pace, causing unpredictable impacts on the lower Mekong River. — VNS