Severe Drought Tightens Pressure
in Mekong River Basin
River flows are historically low in Vietnam.
The worst drought in decades in Southeast Asia has weakened one of its great rivers to the point where it is losing a battle with the sea.
Water flows in the lower Mekong River in Vietnam are so feeble that salt water from the South China Sea is pushing through the delta, up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) inland along the river’s main stem and more than 70 kilometers (43 miles) inland on tributaries. The salt, damaging to crops, is a disaster for rice farmers in the delta, which accounts for half of Vietnam’s rice production.
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