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Binh Phuoc (VNA) – Drought and water shortages are forecast to hit the southern province of Binh Phuoc , seriously affecting locals’ daily activities and taking a toll on agricultural production.

According to the provincial People’s Committee, about 11 percent of rural households and about 34,000 hectares of cultivation area will face a shortage of fresh water, while around 2,000 hectares of aquaculture will be threatened by drought.

According to surveys conducted by local authorities, water level in reservoirs managed by the locality in early January fell by between 0.1-0.5 metres compared to the average level. A number of reservoirs, such as Ta Te in Loc Ninh district, Dak Ton, Binh Ha and Bu Ka in Bu Gia Map district, and An Khuong and Bau Um in Hon Quan district have water levels 1.5-3 metres below average.

Water levels in irrigation and hydroelectric reservoirs in the end of January also fell compared with their designed capacity, causing water shortages for over 10,000 ha of farming areas.

To counter the situation, local authorities have taken measures to prevent drought, aiming to minimising damage to agriculture production, industry, services and aquaculture.
Relevant sectors and agencies, and the local agricultural sector were asked to ensure enough water for the cultivation area in the winter-spring 2015-2016 crop. Local farmers are advised to switch to crops that require less water to adapt to water shortages caused by prolonged drought.

El Nino is causing extreme weather in Binh Phuoc. This year’s rainy season will come late and end early. Rainfall in the locality dropped 20-30 percent compared to the average for previous years.

Data collected at the Phuoc Hoa hydrological monitoring station showed that water levels in the Be River in late January reached 17.5 metres, 1.5 metres below the alarming level.-VNA