Water wheels always appear in the dry season along streams in the northwestern region. The simple bamboo water wheel is associated with the traditional farming methods of ethnic minority groups in mountainous areas.
The south-central region is estimated to have 51,000 – 70,000ha of farmlands facing a water shortage and a temporary halt to cultivation until there is rain or farmers switch to drought-resistant crops, according to the Department of Irrigation.
Authorities in the southeastern province of Binh Phuoc are tightening measures to prevent forest fires in the dry season as prolonged heat has occurred since the beginning of the year.
More than 43,500 ha of forest in the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau is at high risk of fire during the existing dry season, which began in November and will last until the end of May.
Saltwater intrusion has affected many fruit growing areas in the Mekong Delta as local farmers struggle to secure irrigation water for their orchards.
The southern region, including HCM City, is suffering from a heat wave which is predicted to peak in late March and early April, according to the Southern Hydro-Meteorological Station.
As many as 12 industrial fires have occurred at wood processing factories in HCM City and the neighbouring province of Binh Duong this year, causing major losses of tens billion of Vietnamese dong and hundreds of jobs.
Along with Mekong Delta, the central region will suffer prolonged drought and saline intrusion during the rest of this year’s dry season, experts warned.
Little rainfall is forecast across the country in March and April, the remaining months of the dry season, particularly in the central region, said Vu Duc Long, Deputy Director of the National Centre for Hydrometeorological Forecasting.
Though saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta was predicted to come earlier and with higher level of salinity than that recorded in the 2015-2016 dry season, the damages to farming areas are expected to be less serious.
It is now the flood season in the Mekong Delta, but people there have already begun to worry about saline intrusion in the upcoming dry season.
There is a high risk of drought in the central and south-central coastal provinces as the dry season is forecast to extend to August and even September of 2019, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF).