Mekong Delta residents urged to collect rainwater, not underground water

VietNamNet Bridge – Using rainwater for daily life is believed to be the optimal solution for the water shortage problem in Mekong River Delta, where overexploitation of underground water sources has occurred.

rainwater, underground water, Mekong Delta

Scientific research works all point out that subsidence in the Mekong River Delta is getting worse due to natural impact and human activities, including the overexploitation of underground water sources, which has caused serious pollution of the surface water.

Dr. Kjell Karlsurd from NGI, the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, in a report released in late 2013 as part of a project surveying subsidence on the Ca Mau peninsula, said the land area had subsided by 1.9-2.8 centimeters per annum.

AusAid, the Australian Agency for International Development and CSIRO, the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation also funded a project aiming to find solutions to help improve the water sources’ quality, and to use water natural resources in an effective and sustainable way.

Nguyen Nguyen Minh from CSIRO said that collecting and treating rainwater for locals’ daily life would be a good solution to improve efficiency.

Under the project, the work of collecting and treating rainwater for daily life is being implemented on a trial basis in Chau Van Liem Ward of O Mon District in Can Tho City.

Some experts believe that rainwater can be used only for washing or bathing, and is not safe for drinking and cooking. The scientists of the project found that the water was turbid, and that a measuring indicator of coliform in the rainwater did not meet the standards.

“However, the tests showed that rainwater can satisfy the standards used for running water,” said Dinh Diep Anh Tuan from DRAGON, a climate change research institute, an arm of the Can Tho University.

Tuan noted that the water from the first early rains should not be used, and that it is necessary to clean houses’ roofs to remove impurities before collecting rainwater.

Tuan said that using rainwater is a reasonable solution because of the affordable costs of setting up water pipelines. Each household only needs to spend VND4-5 million on a system for collecting and treating rainwater. This amount, however, could be expensive for poor households.

Vo Thi Hong Anh, deputy chair of the Can Tho City People’s Committee, said the solution of using rainwater instead of underground water will be applied on a wide scale in the future. He said this also is a good way to adapt to climate change.

Rainwater will allow local residents to access clean water, and there will be no need to spend a lot of money to set up pipeline systems to exploit and transmit underground water.


rainwater, underground water, Mekong Delta