Saving the Mekong delta from drowning

Southeast Asia’s most productive agricultural region and home to 17 million people could be mostly underwater within a lifetime. Saving the Mekong River Delta requires urgent, concerted action among countries in the region to lessen the impact of upstream dams and better manage water and sediments within the delta, according to an international team of researchers. Their commentary, published May 5 in Science, outlines solutions to the region’s dramatic loss of sediment essential to nourishing delta land.

“It’s hard to fathom that a landform the size of the Netherlands and with a comparable population might disappear by the end of the century”, said study co-lead author Matt Kondolf, a Professor of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning at the University of California, Berkeley.

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ROB JORDAN | Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment