Among large reservoirs, only 39 can operate if the water level is lowered to below the designed level.
Only 1,070 reservoirs can operate normally, 1,127 can operate with water level below the designed water level, and 23 cannot operate, while the other 2,528 reservoirs are not eligible for assessment.
As a high number of unsafe reservoirs has been found, locals now have to live in a state of anxious suspense as the ‘water bombs’ can explode any time.
According to Nguyen Hong Thai from Thai Nguyen provincial Irrigation Works Company, an examination before the storm season found water leaking at the major dam of Nui Coc Reservoir and problems with the roof and drainage ditches.
On June 14, the provincial authorities declared a state of emergency.
Experts warned that if the Nui Coc reservoir’s dam breaks, localities in the lowland, including Thai Nguyen and Song Cong Cities, Pho Yen Town, Phu Binh district and part of Bac Giang province will suffer from inundation.
However, despite the state of emergency, the repair plan remains on paper.
Nui Mot Reservoir in An Nhon town of Binh Dinh province is in the same situation. Built in 1978, the reservoir has degraded seriously, threatening the lives of people.
|The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that 1,150 out of 6,648 water reservoirs are in bad condition and need to be repaired in 2016-2022.|
Pointing his hand to broken concrete blocks exposing rusted steel frames, Tran Van Can from the Nui Mot Management Board said the reservoir was fixed in 1985 and 1999, but degradation continues, especially the sewage system.
Director of the Binh Dinh Irrigation Works Company Nguyen Van Phu said the company’s workers were told to prepare for the repair earlier this year, but there has been no sign that the repair will be made.
“The reservoir breaking, if it happens, will be a big threat to tens of thousands of people in the lowlands,” he said.
Because of the limited budget, the best solution is to repair the most seriously degraded reservoirs.
Deputy director of the Quang Ngai provincial agriculture department Nguyen Mau Van said the province will repair the 36 most seriously degraded reservoirs first. There are 121 reservoirs in the province, of which 87 were built prior to 1990.
According to MARD, since 2000, with capital from different sources, including government bonds, 930 new reservoirs have been built, while 633 reservoirs have been fixed.