Mekong Delta’s biggest reservoir contaminated by saltwater intrusion

Seawater has intruded into the Mekong Delta’s largest reservoir, Kenh Lap in Ben Tre Province.

A local man tested water from it and using a salinity meter on Monday and got a reading of 1.45 parts per thousand (ppt). Fresh water has a salinity of 0.5 ppt or less.

Vo Thi Thuy lives a kilometer from the reservoir in Ba Tri District, but now uses rainwater stored in large jars and freshwater she buys to cook instead of using tap water as usual.

She said: “My family used tap water from Kenh Lap reservoir. But for a month now, with the water becoming salty, we can only use it to shower, do laundry and wash vegetables. We have to buy filtered water or freshwater elsewhere to cook which costs VND70,000-80,000 ($3-3.4) a cubic meter.” The price is 10 times what she pays for tap water.

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Hoang Nam