VietNamNet Bridge – The scientists from the Southern Institute of Water
Resources have warned that in the dry season, the saltwater can penetrate far
into the interior area the Mekong Delta by 70 kilometers, or five kilometers
further than in 2012.
The salinity intrusion comes early this year in Mekong Delta. The saltwater has
been badly affecting the life and production of local residents. In many
localities, people have to buy freshwater at the exorbitant price of VND60,000
per cubic meter, or buy salty tap water at VND10,000 per cubic meter.
Ben Tre province, which is called the “coconut island,” proves to be the
locality which has suffered most from the saltwater intrusion. According to the
Ben Tre provincial Center for Meteorology – Hydrology, on February 28, the
salinity level of 1 ‰ of could be found on three big rivers of Ham Luong, Cua
Dai and Co Chien, while the saltwater penetrated 57-68 kilometers far into the
As such, nearly the whole of the coconut island was inundated under the
saltwater. The 4% salinity level on the Ham Luong River has penetrated by 50
kilometers far into the land, while the 1-3% salinity level on the river has
attached the “Cho Lach kingdom of specialty fruits and ornamental flowers.”
Meanwhile, on the Cua Dai River, the 4% salinity level has gone far by 50
kilometer into the mainland, reaching out to the Quoi Son and Tan Thach communes
of Chau Thanh district. On the Co Chien River, the 4% salinity has gone far by
Since saltwater has been rising rapidly, people in many localities of Ben Tre
have to use salty tap water. Meanwhile, freshwater has become as expensive as
gold. Nguyen Van Phong, the owner of a water supply station in Ba Tri town in
Ben Tre province said that a cubic meter of fresh water could be sold at
VND30,000-60,000, depending on the distance he has to carry water. Meanwhile, a
whole tank of three cubic meter is priced at VND120,000-160,000.
The people in the communes of Vinh Hoa, An Hiep, Tan Xuan, An Duc, Bao Thanh and
Bao Thuan, where there is no freshwater well, have to go far to Ba Tri town to
get water for daily use.
The people in the communes of Thanh Tri, Dai Hoa Loc and Thanh Phuoc are also
thirsty for freshwater. The water plant in Thanh Tri, which takes water from the
Ba Lai River to serve 1,000 households in the communes, now cannot provide safe
water anymore, because the Ba Lai River has been attacked by saltwater.
The Trung Thanh private water supply plant has the capacity of 150 cubic meters
which aims to serve 4,400 households in Binh Dai town and some neighboring
communes, now cannot satisfy the demand of the people.
The salinity intrusion has also made the local people in remote areas lack
freshwater for daily use. Nguyen Thien Phap, Head of the Tien Giang
Sub-department of Water Resources, said from March 1 to the end of May 2013, the
water supply stations in the two districts of Go Cong Dong and Tan Phu Tay would
provide freshwater through 60 taps ready for 24/24 hours.
The system of 27 sewers that prevent saltwater in the Long Xuyen quadrilateral
area has been closed to protect the hundreds of thousands of hectares of the
winter-spring crop. However, a large area of the rice fields there still has
been threatened by the saltwater, which may go along the Long Xuyen – Rach Gia
canal to penetrate the Thoai Son district. Local farmers have been warned that
the lack of freshwater for the spring-summer crops would be very serious this