The Hong-Thai Binh river basin is a transboundary river basin that encompasses 5 major tributaries (Da River, Red River, Chay River, Lo River, and Gam River) in three countries (China, Laos and Viet Nam). The river basin covers 25 provinces with a population of 29 million people. The use of water resources upstream in China has significantly affected the water regime of the Hong-Thai Binh river basin in Viet Nam. In addition, the impacts of climate change (e.g., drought, extreme/flash flood, etc.) have exacerbated challenges to communities and households.
The government’s first priority is to finalize water resource management plans for the major river basins in the country, including the Hong-Thai Binh. Accessing reliable, up-to-date information on transboundary water resources is very important and plays a decisive role in developing water resource management plans at the river basin level. In particular, it is necessary to identify the amount of water flow from China into Viet Nam (e.g., average annual flow, monthly flow and 10 days flow) and its variation due to different water uses in China (including irrigation and human consumption), as well as due to climate change. However, there exists no formal data sharing agreement among the countries.
Viet Nam applied a hydrological model to convert rainfall data into runoff data. However, these data have large errors. Due to limited data availability, the simulations of water flow from China have errors of greater than 50%, compared with in-situ data. Viet Nam is currently using a statistical method, applying in-situ data from monitoring stations located at the border areas between two countries; however, this is a temporary solution, because the reliability of this method is still low.
The objective is to select and customize technologies that can provide science-based information on transboundary water resources. Previous and ongoing climate change risk and challenges to transboundary water resource management in the river basin will be identified, and the most appropriate technologies will be selected and customized to provide the selected data on the river basin. A technical manual and capacity building program will be developed. Subsequently, a training of government officials and relevant stakeholders will be conducted to enhance technical capacities.
The science-based information provided by the selected and customized technologies will contribute to more accurate, integrated planning for transboundary water resource management in the Hong-Thai Binh river basin, enhancing Viet Nam’s capacity to address water-related climate change risks and improving capacity for flood monitoring and warning. Preemptive flood prevention action and impact reduction can then be more efficiently and effectively provided to vulnerable groups, including women and youth.
The project will contribute to the country's updated NDC’s adaptation component, which identifies the following targets: improving adaptation efficiency through strengthening state management and resources; enhancing resilience and adaptive capacity of communities, economic sectors, and ecosystems; and reducing disaster risks and minimizing damage, increasing preparedness to respond.