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Negotiating Groundwater Extraction in Mekong Delta

In the Mekong Delta, managing water resources, particularly groundwater, is crucial for mitigating the increasing rates of land subsidence and groundwater salinization. The Vietnamese government, therefore, is implementing Decree 167/2018/ND-CP on Groundwater Extraction to prevent further impact.

However, the impacted communities in Mekong lack the knowledge and understanding of underlying interrelated problems and implications of groundwater extraction. There are also not enough feasible alternatives to groundwater in place.

The Water Agency is leading the Negotiating Groundwater Extraction project in Soc Trang and Ben Tre Province, Vietnam. Collaborating with Deltares, Institute for Circular Economy Development (ICED), Hanoi University of Natural Resource and Environment (HUNRE), and Wageningen University & Research, we aim to support local governments and water users stakeholders such as farmers, factories, residents to have a productive dialogue about groundwater use in their daily activities.

Using the serious game as the engagement tool, we encourage the stakeholders in Mekong Delta to sit together and ‘play’, creating a space for discussion while understanding each other’s interests. This unique method will connect the policymakers, water users, and experts to take or formulate further steps.

We look forward to working closely with the Department of Water Resources Planning in the South (DWRPIS), Can Tho University, Ben Tre and Soc Trang Province governments to foster sustainable groundwater management.

This project is financed through the Partners for Water (PvW) Program, executed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), and supported by the Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and the Netherlands Embassy in Hanoi.