14 May 20 Viet Nam News Source : BÀ RỊA – VŨNG TÀU — Due to the prolonged dry season, water levels at many reservoirs in the southern province of Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu are at or lower than dead water levels.According to the Irrigation Work Management Centre of the Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, crops have withered in many areas in the province because of water shortages.
The department has taken measures to accumulate water for the summer-autumn rice crop and to reduce losses caused by dry weather and lack of water.
According to figures released by irrigation agencies, due to the prolonged drought, rainfall in areas with reservoirs has been very low.
Fifteen reservoirs under the centre's management have total capacity of nearly 309 million cubic metres, but at present they have total water reserve of 37 million cubic metres, only 11.9 per cent of its designed capacity.
This figure is 82 per cent of the water reserve stored by the facilities in the same period last year.
Of the 15 reservoirs, water levels at six of them (Sông Hoả, Suối Các, Châu Pha, Núi Nhan, Kim Long and Sông Ray) are at or under dead water levels.
Water levels at Sông Ray River Reservoir, the main source of water supply for Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu residents, is also at a dead level, with only 14 million cubic metres of water.
Residents have been instructed to avoid wasteful use of water and to water crops wisely, while farmers in mountainous areas have been told not to plant trees at inappropriate times in an aim to limit poor crops caused by lack of water.
Farmers have also been asked to delay planting the summer-autumn rice crop. The provincial authorities said that farmers who intentionally pump water from reservoirs into their paddy fields for rice production of the summer-autumn crop will be seriously fined and punished.
Dương Thị Hương, deputy chief of water management at the Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Irrigation Work Management Centre, said due to unfavourable weather and a prolonged sunny period, water levels in reservoirs had dropped significantly this year.
To reserve enough water for agricultural production, local authorities should monitor weather conditions, water resources, weather forecasts, and levels of water in reservoirs, canals and rivers.
Hương said district and other relevant authorities must repair or upgrade irrigation works and dredge canals and dykes and pumping stations to facilitate irrigation and better use of water resources. — VNS