The current water level on the upstream rivers in the Mekong Delta is very low at present, affecting the livelihood of local residents.
In An Giang and Dong Thap provinces, located at the riverhead of the Mekong River, it is difficult to realize that these places are in the flood season. During this time in previous years, fields and canals here were submerged, but this year the water is very low.
Nguyen Van Bieu, a resident of Chau Doc City, An Giang Province, said that in the 8th lunar month of previous years, flood water was usually high to his head, but this year, when the flood season has nearly ended (late 8th lunar month), the water level was up to his knee. "The water level has never been low as this year," Bieu said.
Bieu, an experienced farmer who owns two hectares of rice land, anticipated a poor winter-spring harvest. He explained that without flood water, the field will not be cleaned and fed with alluvium.
He said he had prepared dozens of fishing nets for this year’s flood season but due to late floods and low water level, he could not catch much fish.
Tran Van Loi in Thuong Phuoc 1 Commune, Hong Ngu District, in Dong Thap Province said that in recent years, local residents were no longer earning high income in the flooding season as the floods usually came late and the water level was low. Many people have left their homes to go to Binh Duong and Ho Chi Minh City to work, he said.
According to the National Center for Meteorology and Hydrology, the flood season in the Mekong Delta in 2020 is likely to be the lowest in the past 10 years. Low rainfall has caused the total flow in the dry season 2020-2021 from the upstream of the Mekong River to the Mekong Delta to be 20-35% less compared to the average of previous years. As a result, water shortage and saline intrusion will be severe.
In the area along Vinh Te Canal in Chau Doc, the water level is very low compared to the same period last year.
Low flood in the fields in Thuong Phuoc 1, Hong Ngu, Dong Thap province.
Fewer people are buying fishing nets during the flood season.
This year’s flood season in the Mekong Delta is likely to arrive late and if there is insufficient rain in the months to come, drought and saltwater intrusion may plague the region again during the next dry season, experts have warned.