Illustrative photo (Source: www.uu.nl)

Can Tho (VNA) – A seminar spotlighting the link between underground water exploitation and subsidence issues in the Mekong Delta took place in Can Tho on March 21.

Associate Professor Nguyen Hieu Trung from the Can Tho University said subsidence could lead to flood and shrinking arable lands, and affect local infrastructure development.

Professor Piet Hoekstra from the Netherlands-based Utrecht University noted that urbanisation and a shift in land use are rapidly increasing water demand, resulting in large-scale exploitation of underground water sources in the region.

Piet Hoekstra is director of the “Rise and Fall” project, a research programme aiming to enhance the capabilities of individuals and organisations to develop sustainable strategies for dealing with groundwater extraction, land subsidence and salt water intrusion in the Mekong Delta.

Seminar participants heard recent surveys from the project, which showed that the region’s rural areas subside between 1 and 2 cm per year, while the figure for urban and industrial areas hits 2.5 cm per year.

The research attributed the rapid subsidence to rampant exploitation of underground water since the 90s of the 20th century. - VNA