Mekong Delta localities supported in searching fresh water hinh anh 1A family in Kien Giang province has to buy clean water for their dalily use. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has provided maps of underground fresh water distribution for all thirteen Mekong Delta localities, aiming to facilitate their search for fresh water resources to deal with the ongoing drought.

The ministry also asked the Department of Water Resources Management and the National Centre for Water Resources Planning and Survey to give technical and personnel support, as well as equipment to aid them in their search.

The provincial departments of natural resources and environment are required to focus on drilling wells, towards ensuring a steady supply of water to regional residents, especially those living in areas hit hardest by water shortages due to the prolonged drought and saline intrusion.

The provinces of Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Ben Tre, Kien Giang, Long An, Tien Giang, Soc Trang and Ca Mau recieved a grant of 500 million VND (22,500 USD) each for the work.

The ministry is keeping close watch on the development of El Nino and meteorological predictions to give an advanced forecast of water flow in rivers and saltwater intrusion, in order to help the stricken provinces take timely adaptation measures.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, El Nino will continue to cause negative impacts in Vietnam until the middle of this year.

Average temperatures in the Mekong Delta region in the remaining months of this year’s dry season will be 0.5-1.5 degrees Celsius higher than previous years, with temperatures typically between 33-37 Celcius. The rainy season is expected to arrive late, with average rainfall predicted to be 30-50 percent lower than average.

The centre said saltwater intrusion has already reached alarming rates in Ca Mau, Kien Giang, Ben Tre and Tra Vinh provinces.-VNA