Hoi An using up ground water as central Vietnam dries up

TN News

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Hoi An Town in central Vietnam, a World Heritage site, is using well water for hotels and restaurants as water utilities have stopped supply.

Locals are blaming the draught as well as dams in the province for their plight.

The town's People's Committee has warned that the well water will also run out if the heat continues and water is not discharged by hydropower dams in the area.

Quang Nam Province, where the town is located, has been hit by two severe hot spells this summer, damaging farms and disrupting people's daily lives.

Nguyen Van Duc, director of the Dien Ban District Irrigation Company, said hydropower dams are discharging "tiny drops", and "if the heat continues like this, thousands of hectares of paddy fields in the district will be burned dead."

The Quang Nam administration has asked the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to demand that hydropower plants discharge water from their reservoirs to save people from drought.

Hydropower plants in central Vietnam have been blamed many times, including by the Prime Minister, for making locals' lives miserable. They store water in dry seasons and worsen floods during the rainy seasons with water releases, often with no warning.

Quang Nam, with just over a million hectares, has the largest number of hydropower plants in the country 47, including those under construction. A total of 62 projects were approved initially but 15 were later canceled as there were long delays in implementation, according to a report by news website VnExpress last April.

Among the dams is the country's largest, Song Tranh 2, which has gained notoriety for causing tremors in the area since late last year and then scaring residents as it began leaking.

There has been no real confirmation that the leaks have been fixed completely.

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