Ho Chi Minh City has asked the central government to stop the construction of 20 hydropower plants along the Dong Nai River.
Nguyen Van Lai, Director of the HCMC Industry and Trade Department, said recent water discharges from hydropower plants in the central region have caused serious consequences.
The construction of these plants was not well-planned, Lai claimed.
If 20 new plants are built along the Dong Nai River without careful consideration, downstream areas like HCMC and the provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau will be affected, he said.
Lai said a "considerable" area of forest will have to be destroyed to provide land for the projects, which will ultimately reduce the water level of the Dong Nai River.
Nguyen Van Nga, an official at the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, said that, since last year, both the water level and the water quality of the river have declined.
Building more power plants along the river will damage its eco-system, causing the river banks to quickly erode, he said. This will worsen the flooding problem in downstream areas.