Drought damages rice crops in Kien Giang province. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The People’s Committees of provinces and cities across the country have been ordered to outline plans to fight drought and saline intrusion in the context of low water levels in many reservoirs, making it hard to provide sufficient water for agriculture production during the dry season 2018-2019.

Under Direction No.8382/CT-BNN-TCTL issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on October 26, localities should keep close watch on the water levels at irrigational facilities, have rational water distribution plans, dredge canals to reserve water and build dykes to prevent saltwater.

Also, they are requested to rearrange crops, and grow drought-resistant varieties to ensure that their productivity will not be badly hit. Water-saving irrigation systems are highly recommended to deal with drought.

The ministry asked the Water Resources Department to monitor developments of hydrometeorology to give timely warning to localities and competent authorities. It is responsible for guiding locals how to ensure adequate water for farming. Meanwhile, the Department of Crop Production should work to eke out water resources through demarcating seedling areas.

As for the Construction Department, it should step up construction of irrigational works, especially in drought-prone provinces, to supply enough water for agricultural activities.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, there is 60-70 percent chance of El Nino from November this year, and drought is said to come earlier than other years.

Currently, water level in reservoirs in the North, Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces and the Central Highlands reached 80 percent of designed capacity. Low level is recorded in Quang Tri (22 percent), Thua Thien-Hue (18 percent), Quang Ngai (20 percent), Binh Dinh (13 percent) and Khanh Hoa (28 percent).-VNA