The demand for electricity in Vietnam has increased nearly 22 percent in the first few months of 2010. As demand goes up with the economic expansion, the water levels in reservoirs used for hydropower production have gone down due to ongoing drought across Vietnam since late last year. The government now says the country may face a shortage of almost 1 billion kilowatt hours as demand is expected to rise as much as 18 percent for the year.
The dried-up bed of the Red River, near Long Bien Bridge in Hanoi. Image: Reuters
Image: ImpactWeather Gmaps 2.0
El Niño is said to be at blame for the drought across Vietnam. Not only is it characterized by warmer sea-surface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific, but it can also cut rainfall in Asia. Not only is Vietnam facing a power shortage due to the severe drought, but as the world’s second largest rice exporter, they will also face a drop in production of their spring-summer crop.