Water flowing from the upper stream of Vinh Dien river has not been sufficient to quickly dilute the salted water.
(Photo: VNA)

Quang Nam (VNA) -
Thousands of residents in the ancient city of Hoi An have gone days without running water in their homes due to a saline intrusion, said Nguyen Van Dung, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee.

Nguyen Viet Thanh, Director of the Hoi An Water Supply and Drainage Factory, said that water from Vinh Dien River in Dien Ban district, the main water source for the factory, was contaminated with salt. The factory lacked sufficient water to maintain its regular services.

This year, the harvest ended early, so a temporarily dam that prevents seawater intrusion into crops was removed. Water flowing from the upper stream of Vinh Dien River was not been sufficient to quickly dilute the salted water, he said.

The problem has now been mainly addressed, but the water supply is so weak that households living in the river downstream still have not regained the water source.

“The tropical depression over the past days made the flood tide rise to a level of more than 1.4m,” said Tran Van Bo, Deputy General Director of Quang Nam Water Supply and Drainage Company. “The domestic water scarcity in Hoi An city is a rare and unexpected case.”

Nguyen Hoang, a hotel owner in the city, said that he not only uses water for his family’s needs but also to serve tourists.

“The city known for tourism lacks water. I am worried that we will have no visitors,” he said.

The Hoi An water factory has backup water storage of 40,000 cubic metres, but the city used it up by October 9, a period of three days.

“We have mobilised water storage but still cannot supply 10,000 to 12,000 cubic metres per day and night to meet locals’ demand,” he said.

Nguyen Viet Thanh, Director of the Hoi An Water Supply and Drainage Factory, said that the factory has proposed upgrading Lai Nghi Reservoir in Thanh Ha ưard with the capacity of hundreds of cubic metres to serve as a backup in case Vinh Dien River suffers from saline intrusion again.

Le Tri Thanh, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Quang Nam province, said that as a long-term solution, local authorities intend to build a bridge across Vinh Dien River and a solid dam to prevent saline intrusion. In case of saline intrusion, the dam valve will be locked.

“Quang Nam province is asking for feedback from relevant agencies and Da Nang city to set up plans for the bridge. The bridge construction is one of the province’s plans towards 2020 and is expected to be implemented in the coming time,” he said.-VNA