Mekong River environmental auditing: water resources decline and negative impacts on Vietnam


That is a statement of the State Audit of Vietnam (SAV) for the result of the water resources auditing of the Mekong River Basin in an online conference of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) on September 06 – 09.

Limitations on water management, climate change, growing use, and exploitation of water from upstream countries have negatively impacted Vietnam, especially the Mekong River Delta (MRD) of 17.3 million inhabitants. Specifically, the water volume reaching MRD in 2020 decreased by 157 billion m3 compared to 2011. Similarly, the river sediment transporting to MRD in 2020 reduced by 14 million metric tons compared to 2017. Furthermore, saline intrusion caused damages for 509,804 crop hectares and water shortage for 486,000 households. About 2,158 erosion and landslide events caused losses of approx. 1,079 billion VNĐ. The productivity of natural fishing also reduced 12,644 tons equivalent to losses of 770 billion VNĐ.

Water is polluted in many canals and rivers resulting in 84,672 illnesses in 2016 – 2020. Many localities reported on the decline of typical aquatic species. Thousands of laborers quitted traditional jobs and have migrated to big cities and urban areas to earn a living.

The SAV suggests developing documents and guidances on water monitoring for river distributaries. Additionally, it is also required to construct regulations, mechanisms to solve water conflicts among member countries of the Mekong river basin.

Sources & further information: “Kiểm toán sông Mê Kông, phát hiện nhiều nguy hại” at and “Thiệt hại hàng nghìn tỷ đồng do việc suy giảm nguồn nước sông Mê Công tại Việt Nam” at, accessed on 8 September 2021.