Dry season in 2020 to be more severe, extensive than usual

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Not only the Southern region is warned to battle for drought and saltwater intrusion this year but also the Northern region is suffering the lack of irrigation water due to less rainfall on the large scale during recent several months. 

Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant (Photo:VNA)

Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant (Photo:VNA)

Currently, water level in the Northern region’s small- large sized hydroelectric reservoirs is at 60 percent of the designed capacity.

According to Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), the volume of water shortage this year could climb up to seven billion cubic meters compared to last year. It will be 15- 45 percent lower than the average of many years, even the Hoa Binh Hydropower Reservoir is suffering the lowest water level in the past 30 years since it was put into the operation.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Hoang Hiep said that the current water shortage in the Northern region happened just once every 30 years.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, localities in the Red River Delta are expected to take fresh water from the Red River to irrigation ditches and canals to cultivate the winter-spring crop of 2019-2020.

Although water shortage for electricity generation, irrigation water for farming must be ensured. Therefore, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and EVN agreed to the discharge schedule at three hydroelectric plants of Hoa Binh, Thac Ba and Tuyen Quang.

From January 18, EVN's plants have started to increase electricity generation to discharge water to downstream areas. 

According to the plan of the Irrigation General Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the first water release wave is expected to occur within four days (at 0:00 am on January 20 to at 12pm on January 23).

As an announcement of the National Hydrology Meteorology Forecast Center, water level on the Red River is forecast to hit only 1.6 meters although hydroelectric plants have increased electricity generation. 

With this reason, many pumping stations in the capital city of Hanoi, Hung Yen, Nam Dinh and Thai Binh provinces will be difficult for accessing to water source.

According to Director of Electricity Regulatory Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, besides providing water for the early reproductive winter-spring crop of 2019-2020, the hydropower plants on Da River have to discharge water to downstream areas to supply water source for Da River Water Plant, to supply water for Hanoi capital city.

By Phuc Hau- Translated by Huyen Huong

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