Mekong Utility Watch

A plan for water shortage in Mekong River needed

Look At Vietnam

August 14, 2009

Experts who attended a seminar about Vietnam’s economy in Can Tho last week said Vietnam needs to develop a plan to confront the water shortage of the Mekong River.

Many experts and economists who attended the seminar entitled “Review the Vietnam economy of 2009 and the prospects for post-2010” in the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho on August the 6-7th said that Vietnam needs to develop a plan to confront the water shortage situation of the Mekong River.

Professor Dapvid Dapice, a leading expert about Southeast Asian economics, said that the Mekong River Delta is facing a serious reduction of underground water. This situation may directly hit agricultural production and the breeding of marine life as well as seafood processing.

“When the level of groundwater falls, the quality of the water will go down and pumping the water up to the surface will be more costly. This can create a big shock to the current production systems in the Mekong Delta,” Prof. Dapvid warned.

He also expressed worries about hydro-power dam projects in countries located upstreams of the Mekong River, such as China and some neighboring countries of Vietnam as Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. He is worried because these dams can change the flow of the river. If this happens, Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta will be infected with salty water in the dry season and have less fertile sludge in the flood season. Farmers, thus, will be affected.

The famous Vietnamese agricultural expert, Prof. Dr. Vo Tong Xuan, said that under the impacts caused by the construction of dams upstreams of the Mekong River, Mekong River Delta provinces like Tra Vinh, Ben Tre and Tien Giang will face a lot of difficulties in agricultural production.

He suggested that provinces in the Mekong River Delta should unite to utilize the Mekong River Delta in a sustainable and reasonable manner as well as building suitable economic models for sharing water resources to coastal provinces. This should be done, according to him, to curb the losses surfacing from the expected hydro-power plants.

Experts and officials of Mekong River Delta provinces said that they will need the central government’s guidance and assistance to make plans to cope with future water shortages of the Mekong River.

Categories: Mekong Utility Watch

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