Mekong Delta: Land subsidence occurs at much higher rate than sea-level rise


According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), the Mekong Dela is now sinking at the rate of 1 centimeter per year, some areas even reach the average subsidence rate of 5.7 centimeters per year. Experts have warned long before that underground water overexploitation is the major cause of land subsidence in the Mekong Delta. For the case of Cần Thơ, a hotspot of land subsidence with over 5 centimeters per year, as reported by InSAR’s investigation from 2015 – 2019 and the sinking rate has increased to 4.37 centimeters per year from 2005 to 2017, according to MONRE.

M.Sc. Nguyễn Hữu Thiện, an independent ecological expert, stated that the subsidence rate in Mekong Delta is 3 to 4 times faster than the sea-level rise, even 10 times at some hotspots. He recommended effectively managing underground water exploitation. To implement this measure, it requires to promote using surface water instead of underground water by recover rivers and canals, allow water to enter the field and limit the 3rd rice crop, restructure agriculture according to the nature-based orientation of Resolution 120 focusing on quality than quantity to reduce the application of fertilizer and pesticide.

Source & further information: “Sụt lún đất ở ĐBSCL đang nhanh hơn gấp nhiều lần so với nước biển dâng” at, accessed on 23 Mar 2021