On October 17, the Research Institute for Climate Change (DRAGON-Mekong) at Can Tho University (CTU), the Water Agency, and Deltares collaborated to convene a meeting centered around the "Negotiating Groundwater Extraction" framework. The primary goal was to establish a platform for discussions among managers, local authorities, scientists, and relevant management units concerning the challenges of groundwater depletion and delta subsidence in Ben Tre province.
Figure 1: The presence of stakeholders at the workshop.
Dr. Dinh Diep Anh Tuan, along with his fellow colleagues from DRAGON-Mekong, represented the institute at the event. Additionally, the event featured the participation of representatives from various organizations, including the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE), the Division for Water Resources Planning and Investigation for the South of Vietnam (DWRPIS), Hanoi University of Natural Resources and Environment (HUNRE), and the Institute for Circular Economy Development (ICED) at Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City.
Figure 2: Dr. Dinh Diep Anh Tuan (DRAGON-Mekong) presented at the meeting
During the workshop, Dr. Dinh Diep Anh Tuan expressed his gratitude to the delegates, experts, and scientists in attendance. Dr. Tuan highlighted the government's early attention to the issue of curbing underground water exploitation through Decree No. 167/2018/ND-CP, issued on December 26, 2018. This decree was formulated based on a proposal from Dutch partners in collaboration with the Division for Water Resources Planning and Investigation for the South of Vietnam and Can Tho University. However, even after five years of implementation, the decree still exhibits several limitations, largely due to the adverse impacts of economic development and the entrenched water usage habits of the local population. Dr. Dinh Diep Anh Tuan expressed the hope that the workshop would equip participating delegates with essential insights to contribute to the project's practical knowledge. He also aspired that these insights would lead to proposals for changes related to underground water resources in Ben Tre Province, which could be presented to the Vietnamese government.
Figure 3: Representative of Ben Tre Department of Natural Resources and Environment shared Decree 167 on underground water management and exploitation
Figure 4: Representative of Ben Tre Department of Agriculture and Rural Development presented the situation of drought, saltwater intrusion and present local solutions
Figure 5: Representative of the Division for Water Resources Planning and Investigation for the South of Vietnam presented research results on groundwater, subsidence, and saltwater intrusion.
During the meeting, attendees from local authorities, water supply companies, businesses, and farmers engaged in two group discussions, focusing on the following areas:
Current Water Usage Status:
- Purpose and source of water use
- Duration of water use
- Challenges encountered in water usage
Knowledge and Concerns:
- Understanding of groundwater policy and Decree 167
- Awareness of land subsidence, declining groundwater levels, and groundwater quality
Motivations, Recommendations, and Solutions:
- Drivers for water usage
- Proposed recommendations and solutions for reducing groundwater utilization.
Figure 6: Discussion session 1, Dr. Ngo Duc Chan chaired the meeting
Figure 7: Discussion session 2, Dr. Dinh Diep Anh Tuan chaired the meeting
Poster: Tran Quoc Dung