Vietnam will need around 109 trillion VND (5.2 billion USD) between now and 2050 to improve irrigation systems in the northern central region to cope with the serious impacts of climate change and rising sea levels.

The General Department of Irrigation (GDI) said that the northern central region, including Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces, are annually devastated by many storms, floods, droughts and the salinity of water, which damage or destroy hundreds of thousands of hectares of agricultural land and cause a shortage of clean water on a major-scale.

These cause extreme difficulties for the local people and hinder the region’s socio-economic development, said the department.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s climate change scenario, by 2050, the impacts of climate change and rising sea levels in the northern central region will affect 1 million people, cause water shortages for 81,000 ha of agricultural land and submerge 170,000 ha.

Therefore, the GDI will use the money to build hundreds of projects to prevent natural disasters and foster economic development, including water supply networks for domestic and industrial purposes, irrigational systems as well as drainage and flood prevention projects.

It will also build a dam at Sa Lung to prevent the levels of salinity of the main tributary to the Ben Hai river in Quang Tri to provide water for 500 ha of rice paddies and regulate water supplies for low lying areas.

A 23km sea dyke from Xuan Dan to Dong Ken in Nghi Xuan district, Ha Tinh province, will also be built to prevent excess salinity and ensure drainage.

On the main tributary to the Ma river in Thanh Hoa province, four lakes, namely Cua Dat, Hua Na, Trung Son and Pa Ma, will be built to control floods and reserve water for domestic and industrial use as well as ensure stable water supplies for 90,000 ha of agricultural land.

In addition, the GDI will upgrade more than 980 irrigational works on the Ca river system in Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces to provide water for over 331,000 ha of agricultural and aquaculture areas.

It also plans to build and upgrade another 135 projects on the Gianh and Nhat Le rivers in Quang Binh province./.