Viet Nam News
THỪA THIÊN- HUẾ — The degradation of Thảo Long Dyke in central Thừa Thiên- Huế Province has fanned residents’ fears of saline intrusion, an issue which affects their daily water supply and farms.
According to Đoàn Văn Hạo, head of the dyke’s management unit, the dyke’s steel structure, including the sluice gates and their control system, has rusted.
Hạo said using the hydraulic cylinders to open and close the gate has become difficult as they haven’t been properly maintained since they were first used in 2006.
Valves that hold fresh water in front of the dyke are degraded as well, Hạo added, due to water around the dyke.
The dyke connects two riverbanks at the lowest section of the Hương River that meets the brackish water of Tam Giang Lagoon. The dyke stops salt water from entering the river, which supplies fresh water to thousands of people living in the river basin and a large area of farming land.
The dyke includes valve system for water control, sluice gates for boat travelling, and a bridge spanning the two river banks.
Lê Tân, a resident in Phú Thanh Commune, said the degradation of the dyke meant crops in the commune would be ruined. In addition, daily water would be in shortage as salt water passed through the dyke.
Another resident said the whole commune is worrying about agricultural losses due to the dyke.
Before the dyke was put in use in 2006, saline intrusion during the dry season affected Huế City, more than 10km away from the dyke, affecting the city’s water supply.
Đỗ Văn Đính, director of local agency managing the province’s irrigation works said the dyke needed an overhaul at cost of VNĐ70 billion (US$3 million) for imported spare parts and hiring foreign repairers.
Đính said a repair proposal needs approval from local authorities. This year’s temporary repairs have relied on the small annual maintenance amount allocated from the local budget. — VNS