Catch Mekong

The Mekong Delta offers natural resources for over 17 million inhabitants living in 13 of the 63 provinces of Vietnam. Frequent flood and drought events, increasing saltwater intrusion and salinization of soils, limited drinking water availability, unsustainable land-use intensification and sand mining, coastal and riverbank erosion, subsidence, and the growing threat of climate-induced sea-level rise and typhoons all have negative effects on people’s lives in the Delta.

 Furthermore, regulatory measures at the upper reaches of the Mekong, i.e. the construction of hydropower dams, lead to severe changes in discharge, sediment, and bedload patterns downstream, exacerbating saltwater intrusion, accelerating rates of deltaic loss and riverbank erosion, and threatening the high productivity and long term stability of the Mekong Delta.

 All these developments render the Delta unable to fulfill its important ecological services and lead to increasing challenges for planners and authorities to ensure sustainable management of the region. In this context, an important aspect to support planning processes is the availability of a consistent and up-to-date data- and knowledge base on the most relevant key themes as well as operational instruments for the effective communication and distribution of information.


The overall objective of the Catch-Mekong project is to provide innovative research and technologies for sustainable and transboundary management of the natural water and land resources in the Mekong Delta.

 More specifically, the project focuses on the following objectives:

– Establishment of a profound data and information base for scientists, planners, and decision-makers to help address development challenges

 – Filling knowledge gaps in the key themes of water availability, saltwater intrusion, land use, river morphology, and coastal erosion.

 – Transfer of know-how and technology through the development of innovative hydrologic sensor technologies and measurement stations

 – Support planning and decision making progresses by increasing the capacity for data sharing and communication through novel web-based information technology

Saltwater intrusion and morphological changes in the Mekong Delta: current status, influence of the upper reaches and future developments


11/2014 - 12/2019

Project area(s)

Mekong Delta

Coordination (GER)

Dr. Patrick Leinenkugel
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)
Münchner Str. 20
82234 Weßling
+49 8153 28 1522

Coordination (VN)

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Châu Nguyễn Xuân Quang
Vietnam National University HCMC, Institute of Environment and Resources
142 Tô Hiến Thành, Dist. 10
Hồ Chí Minh City
+84 28 3865 1132

Project partner (GER)

  • Julius-Maximilians University Würzburg
  • German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ
  • Leibniz University Hannover
  • Seba Hydrometrie GmbH & Co. KG
  • EOMAP GmbH & Co. KG

Project partner (VN)

  • Vietnam National University (VNU) Ho Chi Minh City
  • Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), Ho Chi Minh City
  • Can Tho University
  • Southern Institute of Water Resources Research (SIWRR)