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Policy and Practice of Water Resources Management

ZEF Update on Results

The Center for Development Research (ZEF), in collaboration with its partners CIDS, SISD and CTU completed an important part of its fieldwork: In March 2012, three PhD students returned from Vietnam. In May, a survey on more than 200 small-scale enterprises (SSE) was implemented along the Thot Not Canal and, between March and May, a study on ‘Gender and Water: The Role of the Farmer‘s Association and the Women‘s Union’ was conducted in Can Tho City.


Pangasius at risk - Governance in farming and processing, and the role of different capital

The environmental impact of Vietnamese Pangasius production (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus and Pangasianodon bocourti) has been recently discussed as failing to comply with standards of sustainability, caused ostensibly by deficiencies in governance, which are driven by internal and external state mechanisms.

Farmers as knowledge brokers: Analysing three cases from Vietnam's Mekong Delta

The paper explores the novel dimensions of agrarian change and of an agricultural knowledge-creation culture in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta by examining cases of farmers engaged in knowledge brokering. Farmers empowered with knowledge, and through intensive engagement in networks and communities of practice, are taking an increasingly more important role in diffusing and (re)producing knowledge via brokering services.

Fact sheets provided by ZEF on different topics

The Center of Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, has conducted several studies over the past years concerning policies and practices of water resource management in Vietnam and, more precisely, the Mekong Delta. Several outcomes are presented here in brief summaries including references for further reading.

Water Engineering, Agricultural Development and Socio-Economic Trends in the Mekong Delta

During the last decades, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam was one of the most productive and fastest growing agricultural areas in the world and even today, growth in agriculture still lasts. This paper illustrates the evolution and changes of agriculture closely linked to the development in water engineering in the Mekong Delta.

Piped water supply in the rural areas of Can Tho

For solving the rural water crisis in Can Tho, political authorities currently focus on the construction of piped water supply schemes. However, piped water supply is an economically tight business in the Mekong Delta. This is mainly due to the ‘competition’ of piped water with other water sources, in particular rain water and groundwater from private wells.

State Management in Transition: Understanding Water Resources Management in Vietnam

For many years, water resources management in Vietnam was concentrated on activities ensuring the available freshwater for agricultural production, including flood control. With the increase of water demands and the emergence of new water usages since the late 1980s, this has subsequently changed.

Hydraulic engineering and strategic group formation in Vietnam and the Mekong Delta

The whole of Vietnam is shaped by vast deltas and big rivers and water management has always played a crucial role in the economic and social life of Vietnamese people. Moreover, the economy of irrigated rice production, which emerged in the Red River Delta many centuries ago, constitutes an essential part of Vietnamese civilization and history (văn minh lúa nước).

Dyke Systems in Can Tho City Show Diverse Impacts

The Mekong Delta is a flood-prone area and floods can cause severe damages to the livelihoods of its population. The historic flood of 2000, in particular, destroyed many rice crops, aquaculture farms, housing and other infrastructure in the flooded areas.

Problems of Law Enforcement: Wastewater Management

In order to ensure the sustainable exploitation and use of water resources Vietnam has started to elaborate a legal framework of the water sector during recent years. This new legal framework includes a large set of regulations that deals with waste water management, including the treatment and disposal of waste waters from industries, agriculture and households.

Legal Framwork of the Water Sector in Vietnam

Since 1986 and especially during the early 90s, environmental protection has become a constitutional principle in Vietnam as regulated by Articles 17 and 29 of the 1992 Constitution. The first Law on Environmental Protection, passed by the National Assembly on December 27, 1993 created a foundation for environmental legislation becoming an important field in Vietnam’s legal system.

ZEF Publication: Local Knowledge as Strategic Resource: Fishery in the Seasonal Floodplains of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Water in the Mekong Delta is omnipresent and plays a crucial role for the rural population depending on that resource in the pursuit of diverse livelihood activities. This article focuses on the social interaction of paddy farmers and landless people during the annual flood season from a local knowledge perspective.

Microcredit for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation in the Mekong Delta Policy implementation between the needs for clean water and ‘beautiful latrines’

The rural population of the Mekong Delta is facing increasing problems due to the contamination of domestic water sources. Around half of the population lacks year round access to clean water. In combination with bad hygiene behaviour and poor sanitation there is a high risk for water-related diseases.

Emerging Epistemic Landscapes: Knowledge Clusters in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta

Vietnam is embarking on a path towards a knowledge-based economy in which the emergence of knowledge clusters in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta are playing a decisive role. As our paper suggests, clustering appears to have a positive effect not only on the increase of knowledge output, but also on the economic growth of these regions.

Dyke System Planning: Theory and Practice in Can Tho City, Vietnam

Dyke system planning has emerged as a technical solution to the natural occurring floods in many parts of the developing world, such as the Mekong Delta. The paper applies the theory of integrated flood management to understand the inherent planning process in the system, the established institutional structures and the social perceptions of the dyke system.


Constructing Epistemic Landscapes

The construction of knowledge maps, demonstrated in this paper, is designed to show the epistemic landscape of cities, countries or regions. Knowledge assets, knowledge producing and disseminating organisations are referenced to spatial objects and integrated into GIS. They are further represented in thematic maps and in 3-D perspective graphs.

First Results of the Knowledge Asset Survey

The survey was carried out with the objective of measuring the knowledge asset of water-related organizations in terms of their individual competences. What educational background and professional experiences do people have who work for research institutes, universities and local authorities in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta?

Researching domestic water use in rural Can Tho

The water supply system in the rural areas of the Mekong Delta – a region where water is naturally abundant - is characterised by a diversity of water sources. Rural households whether they are connected to a piped water supply scheme or not, make use of various water sources such as groundwater, river water and rainwater.


Flood and Storm Management as Cultural Adaptation

The study on local knowledge on flood season management in the Mekong Delta analyzes how cultural habits of living and farming might foster the adaptation to the natural environment. The Province of Can Tho City represents an interesting case for this kind of research due to its specific settlement history.

ZEF/MDI study on local water management takes off

In March 2009, the Mekong Delta Development Research Institute (MDI) and the Centre for Development Research (ZEF) started a collaborative research project on local water management in Can Tho City. The research aims at understanding how water is managed at commune and hamlet level.

Strategic Group Formation in the Mekong Delta - The Development of a Modern Hydraulic Society

The lower Mekong Delta, one of the largest river deltas in Asia, is a landscape shaped by the waters of the Mekong River that flows, as last part of its long way from the Tibetan Plateau to the South Chinese Sea, through a dense river and canal network in the Southwest of Vietnam.

Advanced Knowledge Management Training Course in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

This advanced training course was organized by the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and the Southern Institute of Sustainable Development (SISD), formerly the Southern Institute of Social Sciences. The workshop took place from January 5-7 2009 at SISD premises in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Strategic Group Analysis

Social and Political Complexity


First Knowledge Management Training Course in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

This training course was organized by the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and the Southern Institute of Social Sciences (SISS). The workshop took place from June 16-18 2008 at SISS premises in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Vietnam, Mekong Delta – Distribution of Students, 2006

As an example for knowledge dispersion and epistemic landscapes the map illustrates the distribution of students in the Mekong Delta at the provincial level. The map is three-dimensional and includes a profile view from NE to SW. This perspective is also shown in the scene presented below.


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