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November 29, 2021, 4:06 am

Vietnam’s water sources in danger: scientists

(13:36:00 PM 29/05/2015)
( - The water volume per capita in Vietnam decreased rapidly from 12,800 cubic meters in 1990 to 9,700 in 2010, and is forecast to drop to 8,300 cubic meters by 2025, when Vietnam’s population reaches 100 million.

 Vietnam’s water sources in danger: scientists


Pham Hong Giang, doctor of science, and chair of the Vietnam National Committee on Large Dams and Water Resources Development, has warned about many problems with the Red River, which plays an important role in the river network.

Giang said the Red River, the most important river in the north, is becoming dry.

The water level in the Red River’s lower course has fallen by 2-4 meters over the last 10 years, causing pollution, damage to riverside landscapes, and lowering of underground water. 

Scientists believe the major reason is sand overexploitation. They based their conclusion on research conducted on a long section of the river over the last 20 years. They have also found that the river’s water level rises and falls at different times. 

Giang said when the real estate market was hot, many construction works were being built and sand exploitation reached its peak, and the river got drier. The problem became less serious after the property market turned stagnant.

Dr Dao Trong Tu from the Vietnam River Network agreed that sand overexploitation was one of the reasons causing the changes of the current and the decrease of the river water level.

However, Tu warned that the Red River was also facing other big problems, including large hydropower reservoirs in the upper course. 

Many times during the year, the Red River becomes less red and the water purer because the river needs alluvium. 

“The Red River is quite different from in the past,” Tu noted. “There are too many water reservoirs in the upper course of the river. There are no more floods during the flooding season. We need floods because they help make the soil fertile.”

The Red River also faces encroachment by people living on its river bed.

“Urban developers, when building houses on the river banks, do not pay attention to measures to protect the river’s “health,” he said.

Tu said the only solution would be to change the way to regulate water reservoirs. He believes that such work, which depends on state management, would help ensure benefits for hydropower plants, farmers and water supply and drainage systems.

Central and southern provinces in Vietnam are working hard to cope with risks of forest fires and saltwater intrusion resulting from the ongoing dry season.

In Kien Giang province, agencies have been demanded to closely monitor the salinity of rivers and irrigation systems’ operations so as to prevent saltwater intrusion into key agricultural zones .


Dai Doan Ket

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