Rise and Fall: strategies for the subsiding and urbanising Mekong Delta (Vietnam) facing increasing salt water intrusion


This project 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 policy makers, water managers and scientists) and work with them to develop and implement innovative tools and technologies in practice and policy. A new integrated delta model will be developed, linking surface water, groundwater and geo-mechanical models, to analyse the interrelated character of groundwater extraction, subsidence levels and salt water intrusion. Together with stakeholders the new and comprehensive model will be constructed and applied to quantify the effects of water management strategies in the Mekong Delta. Stakeholders will analyse and develop adequate strategies by simulating and demonstrating the effects of development scenarios and policy recommendations, such as expressed in the Mekong Delta Plan (2013).

This programme consists of the following four projects, see also UU website

  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.

Media outings (a selection of):



  • WalkTEM field campaign salinity mapping Soc Trang Province


Project: September 2014 - Augustus 2018


See also: website Vietnam


More Information:

Dr.ir. Gualbert Oude Essink, +31 (0)6 30550408, gualbert dot oudeessink at deltares dot nl

Dr. Gilles Erkens, gilles dot erkens at deltares dot nl

Dr. Henriette Otter, henriette dot otter at deltares dot nl


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