The German-Vietnamese joint project ViWaT-Mekong has been working on research questions about the Mekong Delta since 2018. At the end of November, the scientists presented their results at the final event at NAWAPI in Hanoi. Project participants, representatives from the research ministries of both countries as well as from relevant institutions in Vietnam had come together to listen and talk about the results at hand.
The Mekong Delta is suffering from water and land loss, land subsidence and saltwater intrusion into aquifers. Causes include high groundwater abstraction, reduced sediment transport as well as inappropriate land and agricultural use or the loss of mangrove forests. Although findings are already available from national as well as international studies, there are numerous unanswered questions about causes, consequential effects and suitable, sustainable measures.
In the interdisciplinary ViWaT-Mekong project, German-Vietnamese research groups are working together to develop strategies and technologies for coastal protection, regional water and land use planning and sustainable water management.
For example, measuring stations have been set up in the project area to monitor land subsidence processes, groundwater and surface water quality in the project area. Mapping of water and land resources including use risks has been digitally evaluated, and pilot plants for water treatment have been installed.
The concepts, digital tools for decision support, models and technologies are to be incorporated into the master plan for sustainable development for the Mekong Delta to support decison makers.