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Asian Rivers Running Dry

VIET NAM - Fish farmers of the Mekong Delta find themselves at threat with recent reports that climate change is severely harming their water supplies.

Widespread inundation and increased salinity in freshwater systems in Ca Mau, Vietnam, and a shorter rainy season leading to water scarcity in Krabi, Thailand, are among the major challenges climate change will pose for coastal provinces in the next 25 years according to two studies released by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Greater Mekong Programme.

Integrated Water Management Strategies are highly recommended, it says. The strategies should include: hydraulic works to control volumes; careful monitoring of water movement within enclosed areas; and consideration for climate change when planning future agriculture and aquaculture development.

The studies emphasize that many steps need to be taken, not only at the provincial level but across the Greater Mekong region, to ensure a more secure future for the region’s residents, particularly those living in coastal areas.

The studies were conducted to help governments assess climate change vulnerability and understand the implications for future economic development. Though different in many respects, Ca Mau and Krabi provinces were chosen because of their proximity to the sea and the dependence of their economies on ecosystem services. The studies provide examples of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies that are appropriate across the entire Greater Mekong region.

WWF is working to conserve 600,000km2 of the world's most biologically diverse, economically viable and seriously threatened forests and rivers within the Greater Mekong, home and life source to over 300 million people in Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

the Fish Site Editor

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