The Mekong Delta is subsiding at an alarming rate, and if the situation continues without effective solutions, the livelihoods of tens of millions of people will be threatened, especially those in coastal areas, heard a recent workshop.
At the workshop
The Mekong Delta in Vietnam comprises 13provincial-level localities with a total area of over 3.9 million hectares. Asthe biggest production hub of Vietnam, this region needs a huge volume offreshwater to serve agriculture, aquaculture, as well as industrial parks andnearly 18 million residents.
At a workshop in Ca Mau province on October 15,Andreas Renck, a representative of Germany’s Federal Institute for Geosciencesand Natural Resources (BGR), said the delta boasts outstanding groundwaterresources which have widespread presence and big reserves across the region.They are not affected by seasonal factors but naturally protected frompollution.
However, the overexploitation of ground waterhas been worsening the land subsidence here, he said, citing the EU’s recentsatellite monitoring results as showing that the phenomenon is happening at analarming rate.
The Mekong Delta is sinking by about 11mm eachyear. Particularly, the subsidence speed in some areas is faster than the sealevel rise, up to 50mm each year, and it is happening faster and faster.
Without effective solutions to this issue, thelives and livelihoods of tens of millions of people in the region will bethreatened, particularly those in coastal areas, according to Renck.
He said that data and information aboutgroundwater play the focal role in the making of decisions, from policy makingto implementation, relevant to the licensing of exploitation and the examinationof compliance with legal regulations.
However, despite various efforts, theMekong Delta still lacks basic information about groundwater resources, andthis problem needs to be addressed soon.
Sharing the view, Chau Tran Vinh, DeputyDirector of the Water Resource Management Department under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said sufficient and updated information anddata on groundwater resources will serve as an objective and scientific basisfor making policies, which is critical to the sustainable development of theMekong Delta adapting to climate change.
Nguyen Bao Chung, an official of the ministry’sdepartment for information technology and natural resource and environmentinformation, said an integrated data centre of the Mekong Delta is being builtin Can Tho city.
It is expected to help improve the state’s management ofdifferent sectors in the region, thus contributing to local sustainabledevelopment./. VNA
While some experts have issued a warning against high salinity in the dry season in the 2019-2020 period, a representative of the agriculture sector has remained optimistic.
Land subsidence is worsening in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, and experts told a seminar in Can Tho City that over-exploitation of groundwater is one of the factors causing it.