Constraining factors in water resources management and planning in the Plain of Reeds, Vietnam
Thesis DisciplineWater Resource Management
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Water Resource Management
The research explores current water uses in the Plain of Reeds (Dong Thap Muoi) sub-region in Vietnam and identifies key constraints facing water resources management and planning. With increasing upstream demands on water resources, and shifting weather and rainfall patterns linked to climate change, there is an urgent need for effective water governance. Integrative approaches my help to achieve coordination and cooperation among the various authorities and territories engaged in water management in the sub-region. Commitment at the national level to principles of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), is evident in several key legal and policy documents in Vietnam, but it is unclear how far such principles have been translated to and implemented at the local levels.
A multi-level governance perspective was applied to identify the connections, gaps and evolving interdependencies across policy areas and between agencies and levels of government engaged in water resource management in the Plain of Reeds. Field research involved focus group discussions with local communities, and key informant interviews with representatives from government agencies, NGOs, and research institutes at three administrative levels (commune, district and provincial). Together with the results of an analysis of key government policies, the findings show how water resource management and planning are constrained by a variety of factors. These factors are (1) a lack of transboundary collaboration among state actors across the study areas; (2) inadequate organizational capacity within responsible agencies; (3) a lack of water resources awareness in local communities and among officials; (4) the absence of inter-agency information sharing mechanisms; and (5) intensive investment and expansion in the agriculture sector. The study produces recommendations for policymakers and other relevant actors to promote greater inter-provincial collaboration and cross-border cooperation in water management in the area.