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Water at exhorbitant rates in drought-stricken Quang Tri

Released at: 17:22, 12/06/2015

Water at exhorbitant rates in drought-stricken Quang Tri

Prolonged drought has resulted in water levels at many lakes and rivers around Khe Sanh in Quang Tri province falling to record lows, with many cashing in on the shortage.

by Son Ho

Over the last month the people of Khe Sanh town in Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri province, have been grappling with drought and continuous cuts to their water supply. “Initially they were just brief cuts but now we only have water once every five or seven days,” said Mr. Dang Van Hoe, a local resident. “When the water supply is turned on it’s only for about an hour but sometimes a day if we’re lucky.”

The shortage has forced people to bring in water from elsewhere, but it doesn’t come cheaply, at VND150,000 ($6.90) to VND180,000 ($8.25) per cubic meter. “They come and pump water into our tank,” said Ms. Nguyen Thi Hanh, another local resident. “It’s enough for four or five days, and with the hot weather we really have no other choice.”

Since the drought hit the local area many people have taken on jobs delivering water. Mr. Le Duc Thang said that first thing every morning he checks the water level of the well in front of his house. He uses his van, which has a water tank, to sell water.

Mr. Nguyen Huu Thien, Director of the Khe Sanh Water Supply Plant, said that due to the drought its water reserves are almost zero. They can only meet about 20 per cent of demand, meaning 3,450 households in four communes and Khe Sanh town simply don’t have enough water.

Many people are concerned that, with temperatures reaching 38 to 39C and even normal summer days lasting until September, any water still in wells will soon dry up.

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