Lower Red River-Thái Bình: risk of water shortage due record-low flow


According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), the record-low water levels of large reservoirs can cause water shortage for the last three months of this year and beginning of 2022. More specifically, water levels of large and important reservoirs at the Red River basin are presently very low because no large floods occurred at the Red – Thái Bình river basin. The stored water accounts for only 30% to 65% of the average volume of multiple years. For example, the water level of the Hòa Bình reservoir is 107.8 meters, which is 5.1 meters lower than the minimum level and equal to a shortfall of 945 million cubic meters of water. The water level of Thác Bà reservoir is 53.1 meters, about 1.9 meters lower than the minimum and equal to a shortfall of 415 million cubic meters of water. Compared to the normal water level, the total amount of water shortfall of the whole reservoir system is about 5.7 billion cubic meters. Especially, the water shortfall is 60% – 80% for the lower Red River and Lô River, possibly causing serious water shortage in the dry season.

To cope with this situation, the MONRE has coordinated with relevant ministries and localities to implement urgent mitigation measures. Examples of these are adjustment of electricity generation of hydropower plants and management of reservoirs concerning storage, discharge, and balance of water. Priority should be given to the water demand for the downstream from now to the end of the dry season.

Sources & further information: “Nguy cơ thiếu nước ở khu vực sông Hồng do lưu lượng xuống thấp kỷ lục” at https://www.vietnamplus.vn and “Giảm thiểu nguy cơ thiếu nước cấp cho hạ du sông Hồng” at https://baotainguyenmoitruong.vn, accessed on 12 October 2021.