He advised the province to take into account various factors, from environmental protection to economic development, in the short and long terms, as well as have a plan for water storage and water resources protection.

Ben Tre is one of the areas most vulnerable to climate change in the Mekong Delta.

With sea levels rising, signs of subsidence plus the adjustment of water resources in the upper part of the Mekong River will pose more difficulties for the province, Hien said, warning that some coastal communes may even be flooded.

He suggested Ben Tre change production methods and rearrange its population in response to saltwater intrusion.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Huu Lap reported that the saline intrusion in the dry season of 2019-2020 affected most local socio-economic fields, from agriculture, aquaculture, and industry to construction, urban area building, tourism, and water supply. Total economic losses have been estimated at about VND 1.6 trillion (USD 69 million) to date.

He said local authorities proposed the NA and Government arrange about VND 250 billion (USD 10.7 million) from the State budget to invest in building freshwater reservoirs in coastal districts, and the NA Standing Committee consider issuing a resolution on water security in the Mekong Delta.

Source: VNA