People in drought-hit Thanh My commune, Quang Nam province, need to travel hours every day to get water from a stream in the forest. (Photo: vov.vn)

Quang Nam (VNA) - People in the central province of Quang Nam are suffering from a severe water shortage due to extreme and prolonged hot weather and drought.

The 50m-long downstream section of the Dak Mi river in Phuoc Son and Nam Giang districts has been dry for long and local people have to dig the riverbed for water.

It was partly caused by the Dak Mi 4 Hydropower Plant, whose dam has blocked the water flow in the river.

Thousands of households living in the downstream area have been hit by a severe shortage of water. For their daily needs, people have to get water from streams in forests.

“In the hot weather 2,000 of us have been living on water from the Khe Dung Stream,” Brol Thi Buoi, a resident of Thanh My commune in Nam Giang district, said.

“Every day we have to wake up very early in the morning to get water from the forest. It is really hard work,” she said.

Most of the waterworks in mountainous areas have been in a state of disrepair for many years due to poor maintenance. Some are used to store rainwater.

A Lang Mai, Chairman of the Nam Giang District People’s Committee, said:  “This year the drought has lasted since February, and so many areas suffer from a water shortage.”

The district has only one pumping station which supplies water only to some areas in its vicinity, he said.

“People in mountain villages are using water from streams because water companies have not installed pipes.”

The water shortage has also hit the island commune of Tan Hiep, Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islet) and Hoi An city.

These places receive 3,000 tourists every day while their water supply of 80,000cu.m is only enough to meet local residents’ needs.

So restaurants are forced to use water from wells which could be brackish or not clean.

To mitigate the water shortage, Quang Nam province and Da Nang city authorities have asked hydropower plants to release water.

The province is also soliciting investment in the restoration of waterworks, said Le Thanh Tri, Vice Chairman of the Quang Nam People’s Committee.-VNA