Groundwater in the Mekong Delta

14 June 2011 | Article

Groundwater provides valuable services to the Mekong Delta. These include the supply of drinking water to millions and the prevention of salt water intrusion. Yet this resource is effectively invisible and consequently ignored by policy makers. The paper “Groundwater in Mekong Delta” looks at groundwater conditions and trends in the Vietnamese portion of the delta. It argues that the extensive hydrological manipulation of the delta, particularly through the construction of dykes that separate the river network from the floodplain and the unregulated extraction of groundwater has severe economic, environmental, and social impacts.

This paper has been produced for the Mekong Water Dialogues (MWD) project. The MWD project, implemented by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, was first initiated in 2008 to work with countries of the Lower Mekong Region, namely, Lao PDR, Viet Nam, Cambodia and Thailand, to improve water governance by facilitating inclusive decision-making in order to improve livelihood security, human, and ecosystem health. The project aims to improve decision- making processes around water-related management in the Lower Mekong Region, to provide an opportunity for government, private sector and civil society in the region to participate in dialogues and to enable different perspectives about water-related development to be considered.