Vietnam: Water troubles for Mekong Delta farmers

In the Mekong Delta, saltwater intrusion has affected many fruit growing areas. Farmers are struggling to secure irrigation water for their orchards. The saltwater intrusion could affect up to 130,000ha of the delta’s 300,000ha of fruit orchards in the 2019-2020 dry season.

Authorities said water with a salinity of 4g per litre is expected to enter 45 to 95 km deep into the delta’s main rivers. It is the country’s largest fruit producing area and is facing the intrusion problem in the ongoing dry season, which has exceeded the record set during the 2015-2016 dry season.

Vietnam News Agency reported that in the Cho Lach district, saltwater was threatening 20,000ha of fruits and 1,300ha of plant seedlings, flowers and ornamental plants.

According to the district’s Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development head, Bui Thanh Liem, farmers have carried out measures, like closing sluices and building temporary dams using huge plastic bags to store irrigation water for fruit trees. They have also been using barges, boats and vehicles to bring water from other places to the district.

In Tien Giang, the delta’s largest fruit growing province, more than 36,000ha of fruits trees, including 12,000ha of durian trees, are facing a water shortage.


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