Central region faces water shortage for summer-autumn crop hinh anh 1A reservoir in central Binh Dinh province has fallen to "dead" (critically low) water level. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
 Thousands of hectares of farmland in the central region are likely to face severe water shortages for the summer-autumn rice crop, according to the Directorate of Water Resources under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Reservoirs are running low, and smaller water reserves are likely to dry out before the start of crop, which starts this month and runs until May, according to the agency.

From 13,000 to 22,000ha of cultivation area for the summer-autumn crop in the north central region, which includes Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces, will be seriously affected by the water shortage.

In response, the directorate has recommended that provinces should adjust their sowing schedules or change crop structure.

At present, the total water volume of reservoirs in the northern and central regions is about 50 to 70 percent of capacity.

But after supplying water for the winter-spring crop, the volume in some reservoirs has been reduced to 40 to 60 percent, and down to only 32 percent such as the Cua Dat Reservoir in Thanh Hoa province.

Reservoirs in the Ma River basin and other areas in Thanh Hoa have seen their water volume down to just 36 percent, which is only enough to irrigate 150,000 ha.

As a result, 10,000 ha must adjust their sowing schedules or change crop structure.

Meanwhile, reservoirs in Nghe An province are at 62 percent capacity, enough to supply 110,000 ha of rice fields, leaving 6,000-9,000 ha in Nam Hung Nghi and Dien Yen Quynh districts to run dry if hot weather occurs in June and July.

In the southern central region of Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces, after the winter-spring crop, the water volume in irrigation reservoirs would be 20 to 60 percent of capacity, and some even lower.

The water volume of Ka Nak and Dai Ninh reservoirs in Binh Dinh and Binh Thuan provinces are down to 15 percent of their designed capacity, leaving 50,000 ha out of a total 370,000 ha severely affected by the water shortage./.