An ICEM study has revealed that the drought suffered by some communities in the Central Highlands of Vietnam could be substantially avoided, if they are given access to the vast resources of the Yali Reservoir.
People living in the Central Highlands of Vietnam are increasingly facing the challenges of drought and extreme water shortage. Many rivers and streams, which are used for agricultural, irrigation and domestic consumption, often completely dry out in the dry season. Worsening droughts threaten agriculture production, which not only affects community life, but also weakens the provincial economy.
This is a particular challenge in the Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces – which is where the vast Yali Reservoir is located. The Yali Reservoir is one of Vietnam’s largest, at 65 square km. Currently this reservoir supplies the hydropower dam, producing approximately 3,680 gigawatt hours (GWh) of power to the national grid system. Since commissioning in 2001, the reservoir has not been utilised by the communities of the Central Highlands. Instead, it has been solely used for the generation of electricity.
ICEM conducted a study as part of the Mekong Challenge Program on Water and Food to assess whether water from this reservoir could be used to provide the water needs of local communities, and to analyse the potential trade-offs in terms of energy production. The study investigated community water resource needs in the Yali catchment and found that livelihoods of communities here – approximately 33, 200 people – rely heavily on water resources for their livelihoods. ICEM researchers considered whether the Yali Reservoir could be used to provide a steady water source for these communities, particularly in the dry season […]