Vietnamese Tiếng Việt | Sunday, May 19, 2019 | Advertise with Us
Text Size

Mekong Delta losing land from subsidence, landslides

(0 votes, average 0 out of 5)

Every year, the southern region loses 300 hectares of land because of subsidence and landslides. The Mekong Delta, for example, is sinking faster than predicted.

vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news, Mekong delta, climate change

Mekong Delta is sinking faster than predicted


The landslides in the Delta have been described as ‘extremely serious’. Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang reported that there are 49 landslide spots with total length of 266 kilometers. In some places, the sea has entered 80 meters into the mainland.

The eastern and western parts of Ca Mau and Kien Giang provinces suffer most from erosion. More seriously, the sedimentation in river systems has been lower than erosion since 2000.

According to the Mekong River Committee, the volume of sediment in Mekong Delta will decrease by 67 percent by 2020. The countries on the upper course of Mekong have built so many hydropower plants and water reservoirs (two large reservoirs built by China alone have capacity of 22 billion cubic meters). Silt is retained at the reservoirs and cannot reach Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

The committee has drawn up a scenario that by 2040 if all hydropower projects arise on Mekong mainstream, the volume of silt that can reach Vietnam will fall to 3 percent. 

Scientists have warned about the disintegration of Mekong Delta. In the past, it was consolidated by 145 million tons of sediment. But now, it receives only 40 million tons, and sediment has been taken away by hydropower plants.

The overexploitation of sand is also a danger to Mekong Delta. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that of 40 million tons of silt and sludge, Cambodia exploits 30 million, and Vietnam 10 million tons.

In July 2013, the Norwegian Institute of Geotechnics found that the Mekong Delta subsided 19 – 28 mm per annum, caused by the soft ground and excessive underground water exploitation. If combined with rising sea levels, the Mekong Delta region is likely to sink faster than expected.

In 2016, Vietnam released a prediction that about 35 percent of Mekong Delta’s area may be inundated under water by 2100. However, with the current subsidence rate of 1.5-2 cm per annum and rising sea water levels, the scenario may come sooner than expected.

MARD Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said Vietnam needs to adjust its development policy to fit the new conditions. In the past, rice production was the top priority, while seafood and fruit were in the second and third positions. But in current conditions, seafood must be the top priority, and rice the third.



Source: VietNamNet

Maybe You Also Interesting :

» Việt Nam’s Mekong Delta named as the best destinations to visit in 2019

The British magazine Conde Nast Traveller has listed Việt Nam’s Mekong Delta among the best destinations to visit in 2019.

» Vietnam urged to adjust support program for climate change response

Vietnam needs to adjust the Support Program to Respond to Climate Change (SP-RCC) to better suit the current situation, Dr. Michael Parsons, policy adviser of...

» New air routes attract more passengers to Mekong Delta

The number of air passengers to Can Tho City has risen by some 25% over the past month thanks to recently launched air routes linking the city with other...