The Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk has invested VNĐ26 billion (US$1.15 million) on drilling bore wells and building water supply projects.

 The move aims to provide water against drought to save dry plants and help local residents who face shortage of water for domestic use.

According to Nguyễn Tuấn Hà, deputy chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, as of April 4, the province has nearly 37,000ha of dry plants, whose productivity has plunged by 30 per cent to 70 per cent. The total plant loss has been valued at more than VNĐ1.1 trillion ($49 million). Coffee, pepper and wet rice are among the crops that face the maximum devastation.
As many as 188 out of 599 reservoirs in the region have run dry, that is four times higher than the number during the same period last year, statistics from the provincial People’s Committee revealed.
Currently, more than 20,000 ethic households in Đắk Lắk Province face shortage of domestic water.
The number is forecast to reach 30,000 households while crop losses are likely to increase to 80,000ha by the end of this month.
Several measures have been initiated such as constructing water pumping stations along the riverside, exploiting underground water, in addition to dredging rivers, streams and lakes, and mobilising vehicles to carry water to densely-populated areas.
Residents from ethic groups have been instructed to release water from irrigation projects with adequate supply of water to projects in need of water for watering coffee and pepper gardens.
The local authorities have also warned residents to save water sources.
Meanwhile, the People’s Committee in the central province of Khánh Hòa has approved a project worth US$9.4 million to upgrade and repair its reservoirs and dams.
A part of the capital will be borrowed from the World Bank by the central government. The province will be responsible for paying a $3.8-million loan and its interest and the reciprocal capital of $0.5 million from its budget.
From now to 2022, the province schedules to upgrade its reservoirs, which include Suối Trầu, Láng Nhớt, Đồng Bò, and Đá Mài, in addition to Cây Sung, Suối Luồng, and Suối Lớn và Bến Ghe.
The project aims to ensure the safe operation of reservoirs and dams, which would contribute to protecting the socio-economic infrastructure in downstream areas.
The province has 19 reservoirs at present with total designed capacity of more than 248 million cu.m. However, most of these were built long ago and downgraded.  — VNS
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