Southern region to see less drought, more rain in 2017 dry season

Experts have predicted that the southern region will see reduced drought and salinity and more out-of-season rain in the dry season of 2017, as it is an area affected by the neutral phase which is a transit stage between El Nino and La Nina.

According to Nguyen Kiet, head of the Forecasting Office under the Southern Regional Hydrometeorological Centre, Vietnam and the southern region in particular have experienced the longest El Nino in the history, spanning from late 2014 to early 2016.

In the dry seasons of 2015 and 2016, severe salinity and drought caused heavy damage, especially in the Mekong Delta. 

During the neutral phase, rainfall is high and frequent out-of-season rains occur.

Kiet said that between January and March 2016, the southern region saw no out-of-season rain. However, in January and February of 2017, rains struck from Binh Phuoc to Ca Mai with a rainfall of about 100mm.

It is forecast that in March and April, out-of-season rains may occur in the region, but on a smaller scale and with less rainfall.

The out-of-season rain is expected to reduce salinity, especially in Ben Luc area along Vam Co river. The rain also creates water sources for the Mekong Delta region, with water levels in the Tien and Hau Rivers set to nearly double from the same period 2016.

According to the Southern Regional Hydrometeorological Centre, in Ho Chi Minh City, the highest salinity level recorded in early March in Nha Be station on Dong Dien river was 0.9 gram per litre.

Meanwhile, in the Mekong Delta region, the level was 22.9 gram per litre at Ganh Hao River in Ca Mau.

Bui Thanh Giang, Vice General Director of the Saigon Water Supply Company, held that if salinity became more severe, the water supply sector of Ho Chi Minh City will work with the management board of Dau Tieng and Tri An reservoirs to carry out water pumping plans.

At the same time, Dang Hoa Vinh, head of the water resources under the Ho Chi Minh Institute of Geography Resources, suggested building reservoirs and using the Lang The flood-drainage corridor in Cu Chi district as a reservoir.

In the dry season, the reservoirs will serve as water supply resources for Tan Hiep waterwork as well as the city’s farms and industrial activities.

At the same time, the city can use lakes to store water in case of salinity and drought, he said.

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