Workshop on Upscaling of ASR systems in the Mekong Delta, FAME project
Freshwater Availability in the Mekong Delta (FAME) is a collaborative, multiphase project focusing on scoping, piloting and providing upscaling advice to national partners in Vietnam on how and where to implement Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) systems. FAME started in December 2018 and completed February 2022. Within FAME, three potential sites to install an ASR pilot have been evaluated; two sites in the province of Ben Tre and one site in the province of Tra Vinh. After conducting field work to characterize the sites, Tra Vinh has been chosen as the site for the pilot installation. The pilot model will aim to store freshwater underground so it can be used during the dry season when surface water turns saline.
This time, the FAME project held a workshop at the Nesta Hotel, Can Tho City on Feb 15th 2023 to: disseminate the findings of FAME; share the preliminary pilot results and start a conversation on its implication for agricultural activities and discuss potential for scaling up ASR in the Mekong Delta.
A wide variety of stakeholder (Dutch embassy, DWRM, MARD, Water Institute, DWRPIS, NAWAPI, DONRE Ben Tre and Tra Vinh, HAWASUCO, Can Tho Dragon Institute, RMIT Vietnam, WWF-Vietnam, Kim Delta …) participated in the workshop and general interest for MAR was shown.
A representative of the Climate Resilient Management of Groundwater and Geohazards (CRMGG) project – Dr. Anke Steinel participated in this workshop with respect to planned ASR scheme in Hau Giang with Deltares and to learn about current MAR issues and plans of Deltares.
The discussion at the workshop revealed several key points: main obstacle is the missing legal framework; more coordination between MARD and MONRE is required; it is unclear, who would bear the costs for MAR schemes as mainly the population is benefitting from increased water security not the private companies; source water quantity and quality needs to be adequate and water quality needs to be monitored; aquifers in the MKD have sufficient storage space, but are mainly confined and require pressure injection; improvement of awareness is needed to create a sense of urgency.