Viet Nam: Mekong Delta - more flood and drought

from Government of Viet Nam
Published on 19 Mar 2009 View Original
The Climate Change Research Institute, at Can Tho University, has introduced a script of climate in the Mekong Delta in the next 20 years.

Serious drought

The forecast made by the Climate Change Research Institute shows that in 2030, drought in the Mekong Delta will be very heavy because of the reduction of the rainfalls.

Generally, from January to July, the Mekong Delta lacks water and drought occurs. There are two peaks of drought, late April - early May and late July - early August.

In 2030, the rainfall from January to July will decrease by around 20% in comparison to 1980. The reduction of rainfall and the late coming of the rainy season will make the periods of drought fiercer.

The rainfall will decrease in all of the Mekong Delta, especially in the coastal area, the mountainous areas in the provinces, An Giang and Kien Giang, and the entire Ca Mau peninsular, with a reduction of more than 25%. In the dry season, only a small part between Dong Thap Muoi and U Minh forest will not suffer drought.

Once the drought is severe, seawater will encroach onto the mainland. Along with ice meltdown, the sea level will rise by 1 meter, so seawater will encroach most of the rivers in the delta.

Terrible flood

Flood will leave man's imagination and become very real by 2030. The rainfall from August to November will not reduce compared to 1980. So far, this period is one of flooding, particularly when there are flood-tides. Floods will be more serious because of the rise in sea level.

When the sea level rises by 1 meter, many provinces in the Mekong Delta will be flooded. The most serious case will be in Ben Tre province, with 51% of its area in flood, followed by Long An province at 49.4%, and HCM City with 43%. Can Tho will be the least flooded province with 24.7%.

Based on the above factors, there will be flooding in the Mekong Delta by 2030. Most of the delta will be submerged in water. The provinces that do not have floods right now, such as Soc Trang and Bac Lieu, will be flooded, because only the sea level will submerge 43.7% and 39.9% of the area of the two provinces.

Everything to change

Once drought, flood, sea level, and storms increase, everything will change. Economic development will be hit, bringing about unemployment, hunger and poverty, disease, pollution, and the decrease of biodiversity. The Mekong Delta's strengths, like rice, seafood and fruit, may go out.

The Climate Change Research Institute has combined with local and foreign climate change research institutions to change information, technology and experience. The institute also cooperates with local authorities in the Mekong Delta to have analyses, plans, and solutions to confront climate change.

According to the Deputy Director of the Can Tho University, Dr. Le Quang Tri, climate change is a new matter of the world. The institute is focusing on working out a strategy to cope with climate change and programs to train local people to adapt themselves to the situation.

Tri said international institutions are very enthusiastic about cooperating with the institute, but not research institutions in Vietnam. Some of them are not willing to share information, but even hide information.