|A large-scale rice field in Long An Province’s Kiến Tường Town. The province plans to build four freshwater reservoirs to supply water for farms and households. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh|
LONG AN — Long An Province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has proposed building a freshwater reservoir project in Thạnh Hoá District to ensure water supply in the dry season.
The department, which has completed zoning and procedures for the project, said it would cost more than VNĐ718 billion ($31 million). The reservoir will store fresh water in the rainy season.
Long An has been severely affected by saltwater intrusion and drought in recent years.
The reservoir project and existing irrigation works will secure irrigation water for 1,500ha of hi-tech farming areas, as well as water for households, industrial production, and fire prevention for 3,300ha of protective forests in border areas.
Nguyễn Thanh Truyền, director of the department, said that in 2016 the Prime Minister asked the province to submit its reservoir plan for consideration.
The province’s budget for public works for the 2021 – 25 period cannot cover all construction costs for the project, so the department asked the province's People's Committee to petition the Government to allocate funds to build the reservoir.
The project will cover 140ha and have two lakes with a combined area of 106ha, and a 4.8 km dam.
The project includes four water regulating sluices with pumping systems, a water transport canal system, a management building, and new trees. It will also have a water plant and an ecotourism resort.
In the 2019- 20 dry season, saltwater intrusion and drought damaged more than 2,700ha of rice and caused a shortage of water to 3,500 households.
In addition, the low level of floodwaters in the delta caused by the rising water level of the Mekong River during the rainy season in recent years has caused freshwater shortages.
In 2016 the province decided to set up four different areas for freshwater reservoirs in the Đồng Tháp Mười (Plain of Reeds) region, including the one in Thạnh Hoá District’s Thuận Bình Commune. The other three reservoirs will be located in Tân Hưng and Vĩnh Hưng districts and Kiến Tường Town.
Of the four projects, the freshwater reservoir project in Thạnh Hoá District’s Thuận Bình Commune will be given priority. — VNS