Soc Trang: Reserving fresh water vital in dry season hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Soc Trang (VNA)
– The prompt reserving of fresh water in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang is of utmost importance in the coming months given the ongoing severe drought and saltwater intrusion, a local official has said.

Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Luong Minh Quyet said the agriculture sector is dredging all possible canals to have water for local production.

The provincial People’s Committee has recently approved a plan to cope with the issue. Accordingly, the province needs over 1.5 trillion VND (67.5 million USD) between 2016 and 2018 to reinforce breakwaters and aquatic breeding facilities.

In addition to speeding up the construction of irrigation systems and shifting to growing drought resistant crops, the province will increase the provision of water for farmers in rural areas.

According to the provincial People’s Committee, the ongoing saltwater encroachment has damaged nearly 13,000 hectares of rice fields in the province.

The Mekong Delta has nearly 4 million hectares of farmland, accounting for almost 30 percent of Vietnam’s total farmland area, with over 50 percent under rice.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that due to the impacts of El Nino, the rainy season (usually from May to October) came late and ended early in 2015. Meanwhile, the water levels of the upper Mekong River are declining quickly and have reached the lowest level in nine decades, leading to serious water shortages during the dry season (usually from November to April).-VNA