Replicating the model of water storage for domestic and agricultural use in coastal provinces of the Mekong Delta

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TVU – A seminar to launch the UNDP-sponsored program “Replicating the model of water storage for domestic and agricultural use in coastal provinces of the Mekong Delta” in 2023-2024 is jointly organized on December 12 by Tra Vinh University and the Vietnam Association of Community Colleges (VACC).

Attending the conference, there were Prof. Dr. Pham Tiet Khanh, Chairman of Tra Vinh University Council and President of VACC; Dr. Thach Thi Dan, Vice Rector of Tra Vinh University; along with representatives from the Tra Vinh Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and other departments.

According to Prof. Dr. Pham Tiet Khanh, Chairman of Tra Vinh University Council and President of VACC, Vietnam is among the nations most affected by climate change. Particularly in the Mekong Delta area, residents must deal with severe landslides, droughts, water shortages, and saltwater intrusion. Climate change also poses a danger to economic production, energy, food security, people’s livelihoods, biodiversity, and infrastructure in Vietnam. Along with the government’s orientation towards global environmental issues, VACC put out the issue suggestion in 2022 and received approval to join the Innovation Small Grant Aggregator Platform (ISGAP) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The program will be implemented in two years, 2023 and 2024, under the direction of experts from Tra Vinh University in three coastal provinces of the Mekong Delta: Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, and Ben Tre.

The chairman hopes that the program will help with sustainable development and provide a partial solution to the climate change issue in the most severely impacted region, the Mekong Delta. In addition, he promises that the program will be carried out with compassion, commitment, and humanity.

The Vice Rector of Tra Vinh University, Dr. Thach Thi Dan, states that increasing saltwater intrusion has led to a lack of water supplies for domestic and agricultural use in the region.

Tra Vinh University has previously worked with other units in coordination to develop different solutions for the situation. Moreover, regional community models for retaining domestic water for daily and agricultural usage are imitated, allowing for a prompt and efficient response to the present climate change and saltwater intrusion. By using these water storage models, farmers will have a better understanding of the current water shortage; therefore, they may apply new techniques to efficiently store and use water.

Representing participants in the program, Dr. Tran Thi Ngoc Bich, Deputy Director of the TVU Institute of Environmental Science and Technology and Member of the VACC Science and Technology Committee, explains that the program is a continuation of the successful WACOP project of Tra Vinh University from 2016 to 2017. The solutions in this time’s program are more suitable and affordable for people living in areas experiencing water scarcity.

The primary components of the program contain: approaching, surveying, and interviewing locals; setting up educational sessions to enhance their understanding of water scarcity and water-saving methods; assisting with the installation of water tanks; designing and placing watering bags; providing system operation training; monitoring, controlling, and guaranteeing the quality of the system operation; and motivating community participation to carry out the program.

Specifically, local people will be given and receive assistance in setting up new water storage systems created using old plastic tarpaulins from shrimp ponds. Additionally, an automated irrigation system or watering technique using recycled plastic pipes from shrimp farming will be developed in order to lessen plastic waste and address the issue of water scarcity.

By Lan Anh