|A small reservoir that stores irrigation water in Phan Thiết City’s Tiến Thành Commune in Bình Thuận Province. – VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Thanh
BÌNH THUẬN – Farmers in the south-central province of Bình Thuận in areas without public irrigation systems have dug ponds, built small reservoirs, and installed efficient irrigation systems as drought occurs during the dry season.
In Phan Thiết City’s Tiến Thành Commune, many dragon fruit orchards have sufficient water from the ponds and reservoirs that were built.
Trần Văn Ngà, who has a 3ha dragon fruit orchard in Tiến Thành’s Tiến Hòa Hamlet, dug two ponds to store irrigation water and installed a spray irrigation system.
He harvests rainwater during the rainy season and stores it in two ponds, which cover an area of 100sq.m each, for irrigating dragon fruit in the dry season.
The spray system saves irrigation water and labour costs and time, compared to traditional irrigation methods, Ngà said.
Tiến Thành Commune has hilly terrain and sandy soil and has no public irrigation system, so farmers rely mostly on rainwater.
Mai Đức Tiến, deputy chairman of the Tiến Thành Farmers' Association, said that farmers had dug ponds and built small reservoirs to store water.
The commune has about 300 households growing a total of 400ha of dragon fruit and all have built ponds and small reservoirs in their orchards.
In other drought - affected districts like Hàm Thuận Nam and Hàm Tân, farmers have dug ponds, built small reservoirs and applied other methods to cope with drought.
The province, which is the country’s largest dragon fruit producer, has faced a record drought over the past 10 years, causing severe water shortages in many farming areas as many rivers and springs have been depleted.
The province’s irrigation reservoirs had about 11.2 million cubic metres of water as of May 23, or 4.3 per cent of their designed capacity, according to the province’s People’s Committee.
The province had to stop growing the 2019 - 20 winter - spring crop on 13,000ha to save water for household use and animal husbandry.
The province only grew 23,800ha of crops in the 2019 - 20 winter - spring crop. In the ongoing summer – autumn crop, the province is growing only 12,000ha of crops because of drought.
The province has coped with drought by dredging irrigation canals and establishing more temporary public pumping stations. It has also dug more wells and ponds, and built temporary dams to store irrigation water. – VNS