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New publication of SISS and ZEF: Water as a Strategic Resource: The Mekong Delta in Vietnam

Nước là nguồn chiến lược: Đồng bằng sông Cửu Long (in English: Water as a Strategic Resource: The Mekong Delta in Vietnam) is the titel of a new book published im May 2013 by the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences (VASS). The book is a co-production of the Southern Institute of Social Sciences (SISS) in Ho Chi Minh City and the Center for Development Research (ZEF) in Germany (editors: Prof. Bui The Cuong und Prof. Solvay Gerke), who are both partners in the WISDOM project. Published in Vietnamese, the book enables researchers, state officials and other local experts involved in water resources management, to access new research results on water-related topics in the Mekong Delta and beyond.


The volume is made up of nine chapters and begins with a comprehensive overview on water policies and governance as well as organisational and institutional arrangements in the Vietnamese water sector. Subsequently, a number of empirical chapters explore the local policy and planning realities; the case studies focus on water supply and sanitation as well as dyke planning and flood control in the Mekong Delta. This is complemented by a section that conceptually draws on strategic group analysis and considers how agricultural modernization and large-scale efforts in water control contributed to the formation of new strategic interests and players in the delta’s water-based society and economy. A third strand of the book addresses issues of knowledge management – in view of making water resources management more sustainable and integrative. Insights into the Vietnamese science community are provided; furthermore, the current epistemic landscape of South Vietnam is critically investigated. Finally, this is contrasted by reflections on the strategic value and importance of local knowledge exemplified in empirical case studies from traditional fishing communities in the floodplains of the delta. In accordance with ZEF’s publication and result dissemination strategy, SISS and ZEF will send copies of the book to relevant university libraries as well as other selected stakeholders. Besides, a certain number of copies will be distributed through bookstores in Vietnam for sale.

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