W+B wins prize for improvement of water management in Mekong Delta

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Witteveen+Bos has won an award for its drainage concept aimed at improving water management in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. The ultimate goal of this concept is to increase agricultural production in the region. The award forms part of the Agro-water Contest in the Mekong Delta.

Witteveen+Bos took out the category of 'Dealing with saline water' for its concept 'Desalination of the root zone to improve crop production using deep drainage'.  This idea involves applying different drainage methods to monitor saline groundwater. This increases productivity, on the one hand, and reduces demand for freshwater on the other.

According to the Agro-water Contest’s jury, the concept can be easily embedded in the local situation and offers a smart, scalable solution to a concrete problem in the Mekong Delta - a solution which will have a real impact on the lives of local farmers.

With this award, Witteveen+Bos has received a budget to further develop the idea and seek funding for its implementation in Vietnam. To achieve this, we are working together with Deltares, Barth Drainage and MWI from Vietnam.

In addition to receiving its own prize, Witteveen+Bos contributed to Deltares’s winning entry in the 'Improved water quality' category - its 'Smart integrated surface/groundwater supply management'. The jury regarded this concept, too, as being well suited to the local context and having a highly concrete and integrated approach.

The Mekong Delta is under significant pressure due to climate change, less sustainable systems of production and illegal human activity. An agricultural transformation is necessary, moving away from less intensive rice cultivation towards more high-quality forms of production, such as aquaculture and fruit, in combination with further value chain development. Additionally, good water management is essential to avoiding subsidence as well as maintaining water security and quality. The Agro-water Contest seeks to present inspirational examples to help strengthen the circularity and increasing sustainability of the Mekong Delta.

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