The Dutch government has awarded a contract to a consortium of Dutch consultants and institutes to assist the Vietnamese government to develop a long term Mekong Delta master plan.

The consortium is headed by consultancy firm DHV and includes Royal Haskoning, Wageningen University & Research Centre, Deltares, RebelGroup and Unesco-IHE.

The project will last 18 months and the contract is worth 750,000 euro.

Special cooperation between Vietnam and The Netherlands
The contract is part of the special cooperation between the Netherlands and Vietnam, formalized in 2010 in the Viet Nam - Netherlands Strategic Partnership Arrangement on climate adaptation and water management.

In October 2011 a similar contract was granted to a Dutch consortium to advise the city of Ho Chi Minh on climate adaptation.

Mekong delta: very sensitive to climate change
With its 17 million inhabitants, the Mekong Delta is one of the world’s most densely-populated regions. It is also one of Vietnam’s most productive agricultural areas. However, the Mekong Delta is increasingly being confronted with the effects of climate change.

Dike breach in province of An Giang in October 2011.

Plans not contradictonary to each other
The existing problems in the delta and the expected future developments require an integrated approach. Plans have already been made on sectoral subjects. But these plans may be contradictory to each other and some have insufficiently taken into account the future developments.

Also there is the aspect of time and priority. Some measures are more urgently needed than others.

Urgently needed salinity barriers along canals
For instance the improvements of the water supply system and salinity barriers along canals are urgently needed and continue to require upgrading to solve future demands. But more fundamental strategic decisions are needed on how to meet the combined impacts of these changes.

Using Dutch expertise
The purpose of the plan is to create a strategic long-term vision (2100) for the Mekong Delta, to set out a long-term programme with a range of short-term measures (2015-2025) and to strengthen water governance for the delta.

The Dutch consortium will advise on the water system, land usage, scenario development and water governance.

Winfried Pietersen, DHV project director, said: 'The most important thing is for the Vietnamese to be able to use our knowledge and experience to develop
a clear long-term vision that will truly set a course for sustainably developing the valuable Mekong Delta.'

This news item is based on a press release (in Dutch) orginially published on the website of DHV.

More information
DHV consortium
Amersfoort, the Netherlands
+31 33 468 3029