More than 59.67 trillion VND (2.84 billion USD) has been earmarked to fund measures to control flooding and provide water drainage and supply to cities and provinces around the Hong (Red) River Delta during the period of 2012-20.

Under a decision made by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last week, coastal dyke systems in Hai Phong, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Quang Ninh and Ninh Binh and river dyke systems along the Red, Ninh Co, Thai Binh, Kinh Thay and Day rivers will continue to be strengthened to cope with the strongest storms and high tides.

Flood drains to the sea will be built along the Red River via the Ba Lat estuary, the Duong River via the Van Uc estuary, and the Kinh Thay River via the Cam estuary.

Barriers in the river beds which prevent water from flowing and houses situated along the drainage routes will be removed.

Medium and small-scale reservoirs will be checked and repairs will be made where necessary to ensure safety. Large-scale pumping stations including Lien Mac, Cau Xe, Vinh Tri, Co Dam and Huu Bi will be upgraded.

An observation system will also be set up to assess the safety of the projects.

According to Le Hung Nam, Deputy Director of the Water Resources Management Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the plan has been updated with current developments and the potential impacts of climate change and rising sea levels in Vietnam and especially the Red River Delta.

He also said the plan was based on the latest research on dyke systems, pumping stations and reservoirs to work out effective solutions to ensure water supply for 20 million people in the delta and water supply and drainage for 1.3 million hectares of agricultural land.

Regarding water supply, reservoirs located on the upper reaches of the Red River in Son La, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau and Tuyen Quang provinces will be regulated in coordination with high tides to supply water for agricultural production in the dry season.

Research on stabilising the flow of water in the Red and Duong rivers and finding solutions to raise water levels to ensure the operation of pumping stations in the dry season will be implemented to the year of 2015.

Water inlet sluices in the Thai Binh and Moi rivers and fresh water storage works will be constructed.

Nam said the plan also focused on raising people's knowledge about climate change and rising sea levels, improving the effectiveness of management on irrigation works, the operation of reservoirs, and sand exploitation along river banks.

A specific co-ordination mechanism on this issue between relevant agencies would be applied, he said.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has entrusted the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Planning and Investment, Environment and Natural Resources and the relevant cities and provinces to implement the measures needed for the plan.-VNA