The Southern Institute for Water Resources Planning (SIWRP) has implemented a master plan to build three irrigation systems in response to climate change in Can Tho, Ca Mau and Vinh Long – the three most severely inundated cities in the Mekong Delta.

Accordingly, capital sourced from the State budget will be allocated for construction in Can Tho, including 24 spillway dams, two locks in the Tra Noc and Binh Thuy rivers, dyke upgrades and six pump stations by 2016.

Vinh Long will construct 19 new irrigation channels and embankments while building and repairing dykes integrated with the transport system by 2020.

Meanwhile, Ca Mau will upgrade its embankments along the Ca Mau, Ganh Hao, Doc and Rach Rap rivers, and the Ca Mau-Bac Lieu and Luong The Tran canals, as well as build conduits to ensure water drainage in the city.

Saltwater intrusion is one of the major challenges facing Ca Mau and other Mekong Delta localities.

Therefore, upgrading irrigation and sea dyke systems needs to be prioritised together with protecting mangrove forests and speeding up reforestation.

Dealing with climate change necessitates the participation of the entire community and the close cooperation between institutes and scientists to determine flexible solutions relevant to each locality and region.-VNA