EFFECTS OF UPSTREAM HYDROPOWER DAMS AND WATER DIVERSION PROJECTS TO THE DROUGHT AND SALINE INTRUSION OF THE MEKONG RIVER DELTA IN VIETNAM

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1 EFFECTS OF UPSTREAM HYDROPOWER DAMS AND WATER DIVERSION PROJECTS TO THE DROUGHT AND SALINE INTRUSION OF THE MEKONG RIVER DELTA IN VIETNAM Le Anh Tuan Can Tho Univerity E mail:

2 The Mekong River Delta (MD), the most downstream region of the Mekong River. The MD is receiving more than 85% of water volumes from the mainstream of the Mekong River before running out to both the Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.

3 The Delta supplies more than 53% of the nation s staple rice and crop food, 80% of the total fish production, and 75% of fruits for domestic and export. Mil. Ton (2013) ton

4 ABNORMAL RAINFALL HEAT WAVES FLOOD HIGH SOLAR RADIATION DROUGHT SALINE INTRUSION RIVER BANKS EROSION SEA LEVEL RISE LAND SUBSIDENCE SALINE INTRUSION COATAL LINES EROSION WHIRLWIND & STORM SEA LEVEL RISE

5 China Myanmar Laos China Vietnam Thái Lan Cambodia Cambodia

6 2015 Tân Châu Peak flow to Tan Chau Station in last 90 years, the lowest is in 2015 In , the Mekong Delta is facing the worst drought and saline intrusion in recent history. The El Nino phenomenon and the water storage of reservoirs hydropower dams on the upper streams of the Mekong river are considered as the main reasons of this serious drought.

7 Peak floods trend-lines to Delta via Tan Chau and Chau Doc were decreasing Water Level in DAI NGAI Station

8 Low upstream flow leads the salinity intrusion to coastal areas more serious, special in year 2016 In the winter spring crop , more than 339,000 hectares of rice in coastal Mekong Delta provinces are prone to saltwater intrusion and drought, accounting for 35.5% of those localities rice areas and 21.9% percent of the region s total rice area. Of these, 104,000 ha have been severely impacted.

9 KIÊN GIANG (19/2) VĨNH LONG (09/3) LONG AN (23/2) There were 10/13 provinces in the MD have announced their drought disaster situation HẬUGIANG (22/4) CÀ MAU (29/2) TIỀN GIANG (05/2) BẾN TRE (05/2) TRÀ VINH (09/3) As a draft estimation, the MD has lost about ton of rice, resulting in a loss of over $44.64 million due to the drought in BẠC LIÊU (1/4) SÓC TRĂNG (23/2)

10 Hydropower dam development plans in main and tributary streams seem a priority alternative in the Upper River countries for serving energy and water demands highly. The operations of the dam reservoirhydropower systems may create adverse effects for environmental flows, agricultural production and wetland ecosystems. HYDROPOWER DEVELOPMENT

11 Chinese ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that China has decided to open the sluice gates of the Jinghong Hydropower Station from March 15 to April 10 to release water downstream as a reply partly of Vietnamese Gov. s request. The water discharge is 2.190m³/s, he informed. Height 108 m Length m Active Storage 249 mil. m 3 Installed capacity 1,750 MW

12 Notice: Total water amount released from Jinghon Reservoir to Chiang Sean since 01Jan Mar2016 was lower than in 2014 and 2015 in the same period. Chinese has release water for their electricity needs mainly instead of for LMB countries domestic and agricultural use. Water released from Jinghon can not push/prevent saline intrusion in the MD.

13 Project Kong Loei Chi Mun aims to divert water for Thailand s use by dredging the Loei River 5m deeper and spreading Loei estuaries a further 250 m wide. In addition, around 24 tunnels will be constructed at the bottom of the Loei River so there will more water from the Mekong River flowing into the Loei River, then to the Chi and Mun rivers. The aim is to help irrigating 113 districts of 17 northeastern provinces in Thailand for the dry season.

14 WATER DIVERSION PROJECTS IN THE NORTHEAST OF THAILAND: PAKCHOM UBOLRAT The MD Ave. Discharge in the dry season is m 3 /s. This mega project will take nearly a half of the total discharge of the river. Khong Loei Chi Mun Project will increasing irrigated areas up to ha in the wet seasons and ha in the dry season. It needs a flow discharge m 3 /sec Source: asia sea.org/southeast asia sea/hanhan17.jpg

15 MEKONG RIVER IN THE DRY SEASON Q # m 3 /s THAILAND Khong Loei Chi Mun Project m 3 /s LAOS North Vientaine ha Project 240 m 3 /s CAMBODIA VAICO ha Project 500 m 3 /s IRRIGATION PROJECTS VIETNAM??? m 3 /s

16 CLIMATE CHANGE & SEA LEVEL RISE UPSTREAM HYDROPOWER DEVELOPMENT & WATER DIVERSION INCREASING POPULATION AND MIGRATION 6 POTENTIAL RISKS TO THE COUNTRY S ENVIRONMENT CHANGING THE LAND USE OVER EXPLOITING NATURAL RESEOURCES SOIL WATER AND AIR DEGRADATION 16

17 The Lower Mekong River Regions have more serious threats or double impacts climate change and upstream dams - as a consequence. In combination, projected climate, industrial development, and upstream dams operation could increase many negative effects on local rice and fish cultivation in the Delta. Lower flows to the Mekong River did not only provide necessary freshwater and alluvium the Delta s ecosystem and agricultural production, but also let higher sea tides bringing more saline intrusion up 50 to 80 km into cultivated inland. If these hydrologic variabilities combined with other human water extraction and hydropower dam development factors, the MD s water challenges may become worsen in the future. For a long term strategy for water security in the MD, there is an urgent need for an inclusive and stakeholders participatory approach in the water resource planning and management. Carefulness is necessary in every phase of water project development with regard to social and environmental outcomes.

18 Contact: Le Anh Tuan DRAGON int. Mekong Can Tho University, Vietnam E mail:

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