Saltwater intrusion seriously threatens drinking water source in HCMC

Climate change, notably saltwater intrusion, flooding, rising seawater level and drought has greatly impacted on daily life and socio-economic development in Vietnam in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular. As this reason, it is necessary to have specific orientation as well as direct solutions to minimize vulnerability for as much as possible.
(Illustrative photo:SGGP/ Cao Thang)
(Illustrative photo:SGGP/ Cao Thang)

According to the latest research by the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the highest, average and lowest salinity in the period 2006-2015 ranged from 4.5 percent to 16.6 percent, 2.49 percent - 13.1 percent, 0.4 percent - 10.8 percent respectively. 

The salinity in the dry season was quite high, ranging from 9.3 percent to 14.7 percent.

The future up-and-down salinity is expected to stimulate the upstream area of Dau Tieng Lake on Saigon River and Tri An Lake on Dong Nai River. 

Besides, according to Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, the city has only a small land bordered by the sea in the Southeast, but there are main river flows through some districts is seriously impacted by saline intrusion.

As this situation, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment predicted that by 2100, the water level in Vung Tau beach in Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province is expected to rise by one meter compared to the period of 1990-2000. 

Consequently, the change will also affect the hydraulic regime and saline intrusion on the Saigon - Dong Nai river system. In near future, production activities and supplies of drinking water source in HCMC’s coastal districts of Nha Be and Can Gio will be seriously affected with the salinity margin of more than 5g per liter.

Amid the current climate change, Ho Chi Minh City has recognized and adopted many solutions, built action plans to deal with the problem. 

The city has developed 50- hectare afforestation on wetlands, riverside alluvial grounds and canals in sub-zones of the Can Gio mangrove protection forest in combination with implementation of periodic greenhouse gas inventory every two years in the area.

In addition, the city is not only speeding up the construction of metro lines, bus rapid transit (BRT) routes, tidal sluice gates but also promoting research on model of utilizing solar power to generate electricity for rural areas, improving and upgrading the drainage systems to minimize flooding, researching plan of agricultural production areas adapting to climate change. However, in addition to the solutions, the city also further strengthens solutions to limit human impacts on climate change.

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