Urban water systems in Can Tho, Vietnam: Understanding the current context for climate change adaption

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Neumann, Luis; Nguyen, Minh; Moglia, Magnus ORCID ID icon; Cook, Stephen; Lipkin, Felix



78 pp

Can Tho City is a major urban centre in the Vietnamese part of the lower Mekong Delta. Can Tho City has developed rapidly over the previous two decades, with significant economic growth and increased urbanisation. The Vietnamese Government’s Can Tho Master Plan anticipates the continued growth of residential, commercial, and industrial areas into the future. At present the population has inadequate access to clean water supply and sanitation. The planning of future urban water services in Can Tho needs to consider the likely impacts of climate change. It is against this setting that the Sustainable Cities and Coasts Theme in the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship is undertaking a research project in Can Tho, Vietnam, to inform strategies for sustainable urban water services that are resilient to climate change. The project, which is co-funded by AusAID, is being delivered in partnership with Vietnamese researchers and government officials. This report details the current context for urban water systems in Can Tho, and considers the potential influence of climate change on the sustainability of Can Tho’s urban water systems. The report is based on the collection of data from government agencies, and reports from other projects. The data collection and analysis builds upon information developed during the Water Risk Index workshop, held in October 2010 with local stakeholders. The analysis of data in this report is organised along the dimensions of urban water issues explored in the workshop. Climate modelling studies point to increased temperatures, changes in average annual rainfall and sea level rise, with different ranges in the uncertainties in predictions, particularly for rainfall projections for Vietnam, but some studies have pointed to a possible reduction in average annual rainfall. Although the flow rates in the Mekong are unlikely to drop significantly, the demand for water supply is likely to increase due to the increase in temperatures and heat stress on humans, animals and vegetation. The increase in demand is likely to place the water treatment facilities for supply under increase pressure. The predicted sea level rise may lead to increase in salinity in channels posing a threat to water supply for urban consumption and irrigation and it also has the potential to degraded groundwater and reduces its availability for use due to high salinity levels. The projections for the Mekong station located in Tan Chau (the closest station to Can Tho) shows that in the high-flow season, the mean flow rate will increase under the high emission climate change, but not under a more modest emission scenario. In the low flow season however, all the scenarios with or without climate change point to an increase in river flows, particularly for the climate change scenarios. The following sections summarise the key current issues for Can Tho’s urban water dimensions, and the influence that climate change may have in exacerbating these issues.


Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified

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© Copyright 2011 CSIRO


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Neumann, Luis; Nguyen, Minh; Moglia, Magnus; Cook, Stephen; Lipkin, Felix. Urban water systems in Can Tho, Vietnam: Understanding the current context for climate change adaption. CSIRO; 2011. https://doi.org/10.4225/08/584ee8f2e3474

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