ViWaT engineering

Sustainable technologies in coastal protection and water management

Landscape of the Mekong Delta characterized by arms of rivers.

In the joint project ViWaT, German and Vietnamese partners work on sustainable solution concepts to conserve land and water resources in the Mekong Delta.

The Mekong Delta in Vietnam is a region of about 40,577 km2 (around the size of Baden-Württemberg), characterised by its many river arms. The predominantly flat landscape is used intensively for rice, fruit, fish and shellfish cultivation. The fertile soil allows up to three harvests a year.

However, this economically and culturally important region of Vietnam is greatly affected by climate change and anthropogenic impact. Over time, the intensive use of groundwater has led to considerable land subsidence, amounting to several centimetres per year in some cases. At the same time, the sea level is rising by several millimetres per year and is causing surface and groundwater salinisation. Dams installed upstream minimise sediment entry in the Mekong Delta. Together with heavy coastal erosion, this leads to substantial land loss in the Mekong region.

The ViWaT joint project aims to establish sustainable solution concepts for the issues in the Mekong Delta and the conservation of land and water resources. The ViWaT project is divided into three pillars, which each address different focal topics: ViWaT Engineering, ViWaT Planning and ViWaT Operations.

Under ViWaT Engineering, TZW, together with 11 German partners from research and industry, focusses on water management in the Mekong region.

To assess the water quality, TZW is investigating biological and chemical parameters. With molecular biological methods, TZW identifies contaminations with bacteria, viruses  and antibiotic resistances in ground and surface water. State-of-the-art methods are also developed to monitor the hygienical quality of local water resources in future. As final result, the projektct targets to identify new water resources and specific recommended actions with German and Vietnamese partners for the Mekong Delta.


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Ho J., Seidel M., Niessner R., Eggert J., Tiehm A.: Long amplicon (LA)-qPCR for the discrimination of infectious and noninfectious phiX174 bacteriophages after UV inactivation. Water Research 103: 141-148 (2016) DOI 10.1016/j.watres.2016.07.032

Stange C., Sidhu J.P.S.,Tiehm A.,Toze S.: Antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in coliform water isolates. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 219: 823-831 (2016) DOI 10.1016/j.ijheh.2016.07.015