Drought, salinity likely to last longer this year

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This year's drought and salinity would last longer than previous years given the unusually low water levels in Vietnam's rivers, according to an official from the national hydro-meteorological forecasting center.

In fact, the major Red River's water level in Hanoi was recorded at 0.4 meters at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, while it is usually than a meter high this month.

Water volumes in northern hydropower reservoirs have also decreased by over two cubic meters year-on-year.

"Rains between this month end and early next month won't be enough to make up for the lack of water that has lasted for six-seven months," said Nguyen Lan Chau, vice director of the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

In the meantime, the central highlands and southern regions were suffering from worsening drought and salinity during the dry season, scientists said.

Some localities along the Tien River in the Mekong Delta have reported salinity encroachment 60-70 kilometers inshore.

Ho Chi Minh City-based Environment and Water Resources Techniques Institute has also recorded decreasing water levels and suddenly increase in salinity at the Dong Nai and Saigon rivers.

The rivers' salinity in several districts of HCMC, in fact, currently stood between 2-8 grams per liter, according to the institute.

Chau expected the situation would not improve until May or June.

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