Mekong Delta challenged to ensure water security: expert hinh anh 1Drilling well to take water for daily use and agriculture production (Source: VNA)
Can Tho (VNA) – The Mekong Delta region is facing the challenges of ensuring water security, which is mainly caused by the uncontrolled exploitation of groundwater resources, said a hydrological expert.

According to Doan Van Canh from the Vietnam Association of Hydrogeology, the region witnesses a fast exhaustion of groundwater reserves in rivers and reservoirs.

He underlined the importance of groundwater for coastal localities, saying that this plays a crucial role in preventing saltwater from intruding into the mainland.

It is necessary to alternately use sources of water, he said, stressing that campaigns should be promoted to raise public awareness, especially among farmers, of protecting sources of groundwater.

Apart from climate change and hydrological conditions, excessive exploitation and wastefulness of water, socio-economic development, a population explosion and unplanned urbanisation have given rise to negative impacts on the quality and reserves of water, Canh noted.

The exploitation and use of water in countries in the upper Mekong River, along with mass construction of hydropower plants in the main stream of the river, directly affect the Mekong Delta region.

A study carried out by the association shows that, the region’s groundwater reserves dropped by 15 percent in 2015.

Many regional localities are faced with water shortages in dry seasons due to not having yet devised appropriate plans and measures to store water during rainy seasons.

In localities experiencing rapid urbanisation such as Long An, Can Tho an An Giang, waste water from industrial parks, trade villages and hospitals is directly discharged into rivers and canals, polluting and degrading clean water sources.

When water sources are exhausted, it will bring about unforeseen corollaries, affecting the livelihoods of residents and sustainable development of the region, Canh stressed.

The State needs to build a watertight legal system, impose strict penalties, and have regular inspections in the field in order to reduce violations, he noted.-VNA