As the flow of the Hong (Red) River changed due to the impacts of climate change and socio-economic development, the Red River Delta region would face problems, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang warned at a recent workshop.

Climate change has redirected the flow and reduced the quality of the river, according to Thang. Moreover, cities and provinces in the delta region, including Hanoi, Bac Ninh and Ha Nam, have reduced the number of ponds, lakes and rivers collecting water as they developed road infrastructure.

Socio-economic development and pollution also seriously hurt the quality of the water. Development reduced forestland, leading to land erosion along and in the river as well as a lack of water in the lower basin. People also polluted the river by over-exploiting natural resources and overusing chemical substances in the agriculture sector.

Thang said that the country needed a long-term plan to cope with these changes. The Government would have to improve the preservation of the river environment and use modern technology to help cities and provinces benefit from the river, he said. Additionally, people and private enterprises would have to stop wasting fresh water.

The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the French Agency for Development as part of a project to understand the impacts of climate change on water use in the Red River basin. Initiated in 2009, the project is expected to wrap up in 2016.-VNA