|Water flowing from the upper stream of Vĩnh Điện River has not been sufficient to quickly dilute the salted water. — VNA/VNS Photo Đoàn Hữu Trung|
QUẢNG NAM — Thousands of residents in the ancient city of Hội An have gone days without running water in their homes due to a saline intrusion, said Nguyễn Văn Dũng, chairman of the city’s People’s Committee.
Nguyễn Viết Thành, director of the Hội An Water Supply and Drainage Factory, said that water from Vĩnh Điện River in Điện Bàn District, the main water source for the factory, was contaminated with salt. The factory lacked sufficient water to maintain its regular services.
This year, the harvest ended early, so a temporarily dam that prevents seawater intrusion into crops was removed. Water flowing from the upper stream of Vĩnh Điện River was not been sufficient to quickly dilute the salted water, he said. The problem has now been mainly addressed, but the water supply is so weak that households living in the river downstream still have not regained the water source.
“The tropical depression over the past days made the flood tide rise to a level of more than 1.4m,” said Trần Văn Bộ, deputy general director of Quảng Nam Water Supply and Drainage Company. “The domestic water scarcity in Hội An City is a rare and unexpected case.”
Nguyễn Hoàng, a hotel owner in the city, said that he not only uses water for his family’s needs but also to serve tourists.
“The city known for tourism lacks water. I am worried that we will have no visitors,” he said.
The Hội An water factory has backup water storage of 40,000 cubic metres, but the city used it up by October 9, a period of three days.
“We have mobilised water storage but still cannot supply 10,000 to 12,000 cubic metres per day and night to meet locals’ demand,” he said.
Nguyễn Viết Thành, director of Hội An Water Supply and Drainage Factory, said that the factory has proposed upgrading Lai Nghi Reservoir in Thanh Hà Ward with the capacity of hundreds of cubic metres to serve as a backup in case Vĩnh Điện River suffers from saline intrusion again.
Lê Trí Thanh, vice chairman of People’s Committee of Quảng Nam Province, said that as a long-term solution, local authorities intend to build a bridge across Vĩnh Điện River and a solid dam to prevent saline intrusion. In case of saline intrusion, the dam valve will be locked.
“Quảng Nam Province is asking for feedback from relevant agencies and Đà Nẵng City to set up plans for the bridge. The bridge construction is one of the province’s plans towards 2020 and is expected to be implemented in the coming time,” he said. — VNS