Saltwater continues threatening Mekong Delta

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Saltwater is likely to intrude as far as 70km in Tien and Hau River, the two main tributaries of Mekong River in the Mekong Delta, said the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

This year, salinity intrusion is likely to be more seriously than normal since late February through to the beginning of May, even through July if it does not rain.

The centre said average temperature in southern localities will be 1-1.5 degree Celsius higher than that recorded in previous years. The average rainfall in the region would decrease by between 30-50 percent compared to that in many years, and serious drought is possible in the first months of the year.

According to vice director of the Vietnam Irrigation Science Institute Tang Duc Thang, around 300,000 ha (over 20 percent) of rice fields in the winter-spring crop of 2015-2016 in the Mekong Delta region are likely to be prone to drought and saltwater intrusion.

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