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Mekong Delta: Living with water, but for how long?
Marchand, M.; Quang Pham, D.; Le, T. (2014). Mekong Delta: Living with water, but for how long? Built Environ. 40(2): 230-243
In: Built Environment. Alexandrine Press: Oxford. ISSN 0263-7960, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Marchand, M., more
  • Quang Pham, D.
  • Le, T.

Abstract
    During French colonial times, the Mekong Delta was provided with an extensive network of canals and its urban pattern is strongly related to this network. The network has contributed to the development of the delta, which is currently one of the largest rice production areas in the world. Flooding is still an annual event over large parts of the delta. It brings new sediments and nutrients to the fields, benefiting both the rice production and the long-term sustainability of the delta by counterbalancing sea-level rise. However, increasing salt-intrusion from the sea, on-going industrialization and intensification of rice cropping are reasons to construct or heighten dikes along the rivers and to consider dams or barriers in the river mouths. The long-term sustainability of this approach can be questioned, since natural sedimentation processes will be disturbed and water levels in the main rivers will increase. Other approaches should be investigated. A central question addressed in this paper concerns the future role of the urban planning in contemporary flood risk management.

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