Mekong Delta sinking sparks concern

Excessive groundwater exploitation is one of the main causes of land subsidence in the Mekong Delta region, the local media reported, citing sources at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Mekong Delta sinking sparks concern
A view of Cao Lanh City of Dong Thap Province in the Mekong Delta region. Excessive groundwater exploitation is one of the main causes of land subsidence in the region

Chairing a thematic forum on June 18, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said that the Mekong Delta region is under increasing pressure from climate change.

“Besides this, land subsidence, coast encroachment and landslides are increasing at a rapid pace,” Ha told the forum on water management, flooding, saline intrusion and responses to erosion and subsidence in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Huu Thien, an ecological expert, told Thanh Nien newspaper on the sidelines of a conference on the evaluation of the two-year roll out of the Government’s resolution on climate resilient and sustainable development of the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam today, June 18, that the urgent issue facing the region is the rate at which land subsidence is rising, much quicker than the rise of sea levels.

Hoang Van Bay, head of the Water Resource Management Department under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said at the forum that many areas in the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau have subsided 30-70 centimeters over the past 20 years.

Ca Mau Province saw a rapid rate of land subsidence at an average of three centimeters per year, according to a study conducted by Norwegian Geotechnical Institute in the 2017-2018 period.

Bay said that the provinces of Vinh Long, Hau Giang, Soc Trang, Dong Thap, An Giang, Bac Lieu and Ca Mau as well as Can Tho City were classified as localities facing the highest rate of land subsidence, at over 10 centimeters per year.

 

He said that the high rate of land subsidence in these localities resulted from groundwater overexploitation of 111 cubic meters per square kilometer per day.

He said that groundwater overexploitation is one of the main causes of land subsidence in HCMC and the region.

Apart from tightening control over groundwater exploitation activities and the use of water in the Mekong Delta region to prevent land subsidence, Bay proposed zoning off some areas that are endangered by groundwater exploitation and prohibiting residents from using the groundwater in these areas.

In addition, it is necessary to map out solutions to enhance the storage of fresh water and reduce groundwater exploitation gradually, Bay said. SGT

Will the Mekong Delta sink by 2100?

Will the Mekong Delta sink by 2100?

The Mekong Delta loses 300 hectares of land each year because of river and coastline erosion, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Mekong Delta attempts to combat saltwater intrusion

Mekong Delta attempts to combat saltwater intrusion

Saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta is expected to increase between April 28 and May 6 as the volume of water flowing southward from the Mekong River will decline.

Drought, saltwater intrusion hits Mekong Delta sooner than expected

Drought, saltwater intrusion hits Mekong Delta sooner than expected

Drought, saltwater intrusion hits Mekong Delta sooner than expected

 
 
 
 
 
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