Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Farmers in the salinity-hit Mekong Delta were advised authority’s guidance on when to start growing rice for the Summer-Autumn crop as the water discharged from China’s Jinghong hydropower station arrived in the region on April 4.

Speaking at a meeting on the drought and saline intrusion situation in the Mekong Delta on April 5 in Hanoi, Nguyen Van Tinh, deputy head of the Water Resource Directorate, said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had requested the directorate and the Department of Crops Production to update farmers with information on where and when fresh water is sufficient for their cultivation.

Meanwhile, farmers in the regions about 30km away from the sea mouth are asked not to start growing rice until it rains.

According to Tran Duc Cuong, Deputy Office Manager at the Vietnam National Mekong River Committee, the total water to the Tien and Hau rivers during this release will amount to 1.44 billion cubic metres by the end of April.

Together with the amount of water released from Laos’ dams, saltwater will be driven back towards the sea by around 20 km.

The Water Resource Directorate has also steered localities to use every way available to store up water – in irrigational canals, channels, ponds, and reservoirs.

It is estimated that drought and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta has caused freshwater shortages for 1 million locals and losses of about 700,000 tonnes of rice.-VNA