23 Mar 20 The Saigon Times Source HCMC - Saltwater intrusion is forecast to worsen in the Mekong Delta from now until March 25, according to the Directorate of Water Resources under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Water with average salt content of four grams per liter will reach 35-45 kilometers into the Cuu Long River's estuary, three to five kilometers lower than the salinity level recorded between March 7 and 15.

However, Vam Co and Cai Lon rivers are suffering severe saline intrusion, up to 15 kilometers higher than the levels seen in the period from March 7 to 15, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

Saltwater is predicted to intrude 85-95 kilometers further into Vam Co Dong and Vam Co Tay rivers, 35-40 kilometers into the Co Chien River and 45-50 kilometers into the Cai Lon River. The extreme salinity, coupled with the prolonged drought, may result in a shortage of fresh water in the delta.

Facing the same fate, the south-central region is also expected to continue being affected by severe drought and salinity. Some 2,030 hectares of vegetables and other crops has been hit hard by drought and saltwater intrusion.

Quang Nam Province is seeing 500 hectares of rice fields lacking water, while 684 hectares under rice cultivation in Phu Yen Province has been damaged by the shortage of water.

Drought and salinity are also taking a heavy toll on 5,900 hectares of plants and crops in the Central Highlands region, including 3,900 and 1,400 hectares affected in Dak Nong and Lam Dong provinces, respectively.