Vietnam News

Mekong Delta saltwater intrusion not to be as severe as 2020

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Salt intrusion up the Mekong River and its tributaries will be higher than normal but not as bad as last year’s record levels, meteorologists have forecast.

The Mekong Delta, the nation’s agriculture and aquaculture hubs, should expect the worst during February 10-15, February 26-March 2, March 12-16 and 25-29, and April 14-19 and 24-28 before the saltwater gradually retreats.

During the last dry season, which normally lasts from November to April in southern Vietnam, saline levels of up to six grams per liter were found in some areas.

Salinity of one to four grams was found 50 km (31 miles) upstream on average, and up to 130 km, in all the tributaries of the Mekong in the delta.

Salinity above one gram is considered unpalatable and levels of above two are unsafe for most crops.

For the situation last year in the delta, experts have been blaming the El Nino phenomenon and Chinese dams.

El Nino caused scanty rainfall in southern Vietnam last year while upstream Chinese dams held back water and sediments that traditionally fertilize downstream agricultural lands, the experts said.

The Mekong flows 4,880 km through six countries, 2,130 km in China. Of the 19 hydropower projects it plans along the river, it has completed 11.

By Minh Nga – VnExpress.net – January 12, 2021

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