Worrying water levels in all 16 reservoirs of central Binh Thuan province is likely to lead to a widespread drought across the locality, reported the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The dry season and low rainfall rate last year are to blame for the worst-case scenario, said the department.

Tuy Phong district has thus far borne the brunt of the extreme condition; all three local reservoirs are running out of water, particularly the Da Bac reservoir which now contains only 800,000 cubic metres of its 4.5 million cubic-metre capacity.

Huynh Nhat, a senior officer in charge of Tuy Phong’s agriculture sector, noted that the prolonged water shortage is severe in the Vinh Hao and Vinh Tan communes where a number of cultivation activities have been cut this year.

In Vinh Hao commune, the available water can serve only 600 of the 1,800 households, forcing a number of them to pay out of pocket at a relatively high cost of 90,000-250,000 VND (4-12 USD) per cubic meter of water.

Programmes to improve and expand clean water supply sources in Binh Thuan have been prioritised but the efforts cannot match the increasing water demand.

Provincial authorities have focused on implementing drought prevention measures in a bid to save thousands of hectares of crops.-VNA