Vietnam’s water resources already experience significant pressures from human development processes. Key issues include over-utilization of groundwater, land-use changes (notably to aquaculture) and rapid, sometimes unplanned, urban development. These processes also include transboundary issues in the case of the Mekong river, the basin of which spans four other nations. Considerable uncertainty clouds projections of change in future precipitation and cyclone activity. Most studies suggest such changes will have a markedly lesser impact in comparison with human development impacts. Dam construction is having a very significant impact on the hydrology of the Mekong, but overexploitation of groundwater resources also represents a major pressure on the Delta. Peak flows associated with tropical cyclones have historically delivered the majority of the sediment which ultimately deposits in the Mekong Delta and determines its capacity to build land height against sea-level rise. Any changes in the frequency and severity of extreme events are likely to have major social and economic consequences.
This section provides insights into projected climate change impacts on various hydrological indicators.