According to the National Centre for Hydrometeorology Forecasting, the total rainfall from now until the end of 2019 in the southern region will be 10-30% lower than in previous years.
52,700 households in the Mekong Delta are facing a water shortage crisis during the dry season.
Water shortage warnings raised for Mekong Delta
The water levels in local rivers will also be 20-50% lower. As a result, drought and saltwater intrusion will worsen and come much earlier to the Mekong Delta.
The Southern Institute of Water Resources Research also raised warnings because of the small floods and the rainy season ended too early. The salinity level in December will be 4g per litre and saltwater will intrude 20 to 30k m. In January and February 2020, the saltwater will continue to intrude by 40-67 km, about 10-15 km more than previous years.
52,000 households in the Mekong Delta will face water shortage.
The Kien Giang Centre for Hydrometeorology Forecasting also said they might see a repeat of the record drought that occurred in 2015-2016. The salinity level in Cai Lon River will worsen in late April and May. Meanwhile, it is forecasted that there will be little to no rain in the central region.
The water levels in Thu Bon and Tra Khuc rivers have dropped to the record low and water levels in many other rivers such as Ma River in Thanh Hoa and Vu Gia in Quang Nam have dropped by 70% compared to previous years. The water levels in the reservoirs reach from 42 to 82% of the designed capacity.
The water shortage will have a huge impact on the winter-spring crops, especially in the Central Highlands because the existing irrigation system can't provide water directly to 70% of crops.
After the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development issued directives about irrigation measures to prevent drought and saltwater intrusion on October 25, localities authorities have quickly build preventive plans.
Hau Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development asked farmers to quickly plan the new crops from October 20 to December 23 in three phases. The authorities must monitor the situation and report about the number of households that will face water shortages.
Can Tho Department of Agriculture and Rural Development worked with the authorities to dredge the canals and check on the pump stations to protect 73,000 ha of crops.
Nguyen Van Tam, director of Kien Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said they would review the vulnerable spots to protect the crops and residents.
Land subsidence in HCM City and the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta has ranged from 0.1 to 81 centimetres in the last 10 years, according to the Water Resources Management Department at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
Farmers in the Mekong Delta are growing more new flower varieties for the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival, which falls on January 25.