HA NOI — More than 1,100 small irrigation reservoirs with a capacity under 1 million cubic metres need to be upgraded throughout the country to ensure the nation’s safety during the flood season.
The reservoirs have been operating for thirty to fifty years, with their age being blamed for their degradation, according to information released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development at a conference held on Thursday.
Most reservoirs were constructed by local residents under mobilisation of the local authority in past decades, therefore, they failed to meet new standards for discharging flood waters, the ministry said.
Deputy Minister Hoang Van Thang said that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently allocated the use of VND426 billion (US$20.1 million) from the State budget for repairing and upgrading the reservoirs.
Thang added that the ministry was assigned to co-operate with other agencies to re-check the quality of the reservoirs and calculate repair costs.
The ministry was also required to finish a report and send it to the Prime Minister in July, he added.
After that, the Government would allocate funds, and a plan to repair and upgrade the reservoirs was expected to be conducted next year, he said.
It is often very expensive to repair and upgrade reservoirs, he noted.
It was estimated to have cost VND6.9 trillion ($325.8 million) to repair and upgrade 389 irrigation reservoirs from 2003 through 2014, he said.
Findings from the agriculture ministry showed that the country has some 7,000 irrigation reservoirs, with a total capacity of 11 billion cubic metres.
In another decision, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved Order No.1077/QD-Ttg to regulate operating procedures at hydroelectric reservoirs in the Ba River basin.
Ba River is a large river flowing through the four provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Phu Yen.
The reservoirs to be regulated include Ba Ha, Hinh, Krong H’Nang, Auyn Ha and An Khe-Ka Nak.
The decision ordered that the reservoirs’ operations were required to follow an order of priority, which included reducing floods for lowland areas and ensuring the generating of electricity during the flood season.
In the dry season, priority was placed on ensuring the safety of the hydroelectric plants, meeting the demand for water in the lowland areas, as well as efficiently generating electricity.
Under the decision, the flood season will be set as beginning September 1 and ending on December 12, while the dry season will be December 16 to August 31.
The new decision, which is set to take effect September 1, replaces decision no 1757/QD-Ttg issued from 2010