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Water released from China's dam to reach Vietnam in 19 days: official

HANOI, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Water from China's Jinghong dam is expected to reach Vietnam in 19 days after being released, said Dong Van Tu, head of Irrigation Work Management and Dam Safety Department under Water Resources Directorate of Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Wednesday.

"The amount of water to reach Vietnam's Mekong River Delta is estimated to remain very tremendous. The important thing is Vietnam should use the water effectively. Without an effective measure to take water, it will flow into the sea," Tu told Vietnam's state-run news agency VNA on Wednesday.

"The directorate is figuring out best plans for giving recommendations and instructions for local people in the Mekong River Delta to take water," Tu said, emphasizing that good preparations need to be made to make use of water discharged from Jinghong Hydropower Station.

The directorate also instructed the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research to closely monitor the development of water resources, saline intrusion and evaluate impacts of the water discharge from Jinghong Hydropower Station on the Mekong River Delta, reported VNA.

In order to help alleviate drought in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, China has decided to release emergency water supply from Jinghong Hydropower Station in southwest China's Yunnan Province, to downstream Mekong River from March 15 to April 10, 2016.

According to calculation by the Mekong River Committee, Vietnam's Mekong River Delta will receive some 27-54 percent of water discharged from Jinghong dam.

Mekong River originates in China and runs through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is known as Lancang in the Chinese stretch.

Since late 2015, countries along the Lancang-Mekong River have been suffering droughts of varying degrees due to the impact of the El Nino phenomenon, and the situation has worsened recently and threatens people's livelihood.

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