Vientiane Hit by Water Shortage amid Drought

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Water shortages in Vientiane Capital caused by low river levels

Vientiane’s water utility company, Nampapa Nakhone Luang, is currently installing a new pump to draw water up from the Nam Ngum river as some areas of the capital are facing water shortages.

In particular, parts of Xaythany, Xaysettha and Chanthabouly districts do not have sufficient water, Lao Phatthana Daily reported.

The shortage comes as the Dongmakkhay water treatment plant is unable to produce enough water after the Nam Ngum River dropped to an unusually low level in the middle of this month.

The water level of the Mekong River is already exceptionally low, but some of its tributaries will continue to fall as the rainy season has come to an end, said Deputy Director General of the Meteorology and Hydrology Department, Ms. Outhone Phetluangs, as quoted by Vientiane Times.

The population of Vientiane Capital uses about 200,000 cubic meters of water per day.

Ms. Outhone cited an unusually low rainfall as the main cause for the drop in river levels.

Based on the data collected by the department in recent years, rainfall this year was at a historic low, especially in the north of the country, she explained.

A report issued by the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology in July indicated that rainfall in that month was 70 percent less than average.

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