Rise and Fall project seeks ways to slow land subsidence in Vietnam’s populous Mekong delta Science: ‘Alarm over a sinking delta’

Science published an in depth article about the Future Deltas programme ‘Rise and Fall: strategies for the subsiding and urbanising Mekong Delta (Vietnam) facing increasing salt water intrusion’. Charlie Schmidt interviewed Philip Minderhoud and Esther Stouthamer during a project gathering in Vietnam.

Subsidence threatens the Mekong delta’s rich farmland. Colors in this composite image reflect land cover changes over time. Image: ESA

Read the complete article online(www.sciencemag.org).

Rise and Fall project

The research programme ‘Rise and Fall’ aims to enhance the capabilities of individuals and organisations to develop sustainable strategies for dealing with groundwater extraction, land subsidence and salt water intrusion in the increasingly urbanising Mekong Delta (Vietnam). We will enlarge the knowledge base of stakeholders (including policymakers, water managers and scientists) and work with them to develop and implement innovative tools and technologies in practice and policy. This programme consists of the following 4 projects.

1. Subsurface characterization and subsidence

To understand, quantify and predict subsidence in the Mekong Delta and to determine the impact of subsidence on current and future saltwater intrusion under different delta management scenarios.

2. Fresh and saline groundwater dynamics

To quantify the dynamic behavior of fresh and saline groundwater in response to surface water dynamics and urbanization induced changes of the hydrogeological system.

3. Salt intrusion and flood risks in estuarine channel networks

To understand and predict the changes in flooding statistics and salt intrusion in surface and groundwater, both as a function of different management strategies.

4. Governance strategies for sustainable management

To develop governance strategies together with public and private stakeholders to deal with groundwater extraction, subsidence and salt-water intrusion in delta areas and their economic and potential ecological damage.

This project integrates the results of the PhD studies and implements these results into policy and management.

Source: Utrecht University

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