Dutch company Royal HaskoningDHV has been commissioned to deliver the first integrated masterplan for the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, funded by the World Bank. The plan will set out development orientations and spatial planning across different disciplines in the Mekong Delta to 2030, with a further view towards 2050. Digitally based decision-making is said to be a critical component of this future-focused plan.
The geographical situation of the Mekong Delta renders it highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels, flooding during the wet season and water shortages during the dry season, explained Royal HaskoningDHV. The overall purpose behind the plan is to build a resilient Mekong Delta and help countries like Vietnam make climate-smart choices which are long-term, integrated and adaptive. The company highlighted that priorities within this will be to deliver clean water and sanitation for all and taking urgent action to combat climate change.
The Mekong Delta is essential to Vietnam’s economy, as an import/export hub for the country’s agricultural industry. Ongoing building and expansion will also likely add to the pressure on natural resources.
As part of its role, and working closely with its client, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Royal HaskoningDHV will develop a comprehensive strategic investment framework to help Vietnam use its resources effectively and develop its competitive advantage.
The company added that the project also involves the creation of a 'digital decision support toolkit' to promote an evidence-based planning approach in driving future direction. This will be pulled together into a real-time automatic information hub supporting a decision-making process with transparent, visualised information for all stakeholders. This is because the toolkit includes a sophisticated database and analytical tools such as hydro-hydraulic modelling software, said Royal HaskoningDHV.
Thang Doan, director of the Water Advisory Group within Royal HaskoningDHV in Vietnam said, “The Ministry of Planning and Investment has long recognised the vital role of water as a key natural resource in the ongoing development of the Mekong Delta, as well as the significant threats posed by climate change. We are proud to bring our water resilience expertise, combined with the latest digital thinking and tooling, to help create an achievable long-term vision for economic success and resilience for this important part of Vietnam.”