The contract “Strengthening capacity in operation of reservoirs” (PIM 2.5) is to be implemented by a joint venture between the Institute for Water and Environment and Hai Au Technology Joint Stock Company while a second contract on “Strengthening capacity in management and operation of irrigation systems” (PIM 4.4) is to be conducted by a joint venture between the Vietnam Academy for Water Resources and New Day Vietnam Joint Stock Company.
These two contracts, to be implemented within 12 months, have a total value of more than VND20 billion ($909,000).
The PIM 2.5 package aims to strengthen capacity for the most efficient and effective means to manage existing water reservoirs in the Dinh river basin. As one of the driest provinces in Vietnam, proper management and allocation of scarce water resources is of critical importance. Contrastingly, the main river system is also subject to flooding during extreme rainfall periods. Thus, reservoir operation needs to be optimized on the one hand, to retain water to ensure availability during dry periods but on the other hand, to provide a storage buffer to help mitigate flooding.
Water demands in the province include not irrigation but also domestic water supply, industrial water supply and water for a growing tourism sector. There is also the issue of environmental requirements for a healthy river system and salinity in the lower estuary area. Implementation of the package requires the establishment of a network of stakeholders so that the multi-function requirements for the water resources can be discussed and balanced.
The analysis requires development of hydrological models for both existing and future climate conditions to ensure that process of rainfall and runoff in the catchment area is well-understood. A linked reservoir system model for water balance will be established to examine various reservoir operation scenarios in order to determine the most suitable operation rules for assuring water availability and to mitigate flood risk. The model will be operationalized to provide reservoir managers with a real-time decision support tool for application during both drought and flood periods.
Water monitoring equipment will be purchased and installed to strengthen the network of information gathering for the reservoir and river system. Training on system use will be provided to the relevant stakeholders in the Irrigation Management Company (IMC) and in the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD).
The PIM 4.4 package examines the water management issues downstream of the reservoirs. That is, issues for the delivery of irrigation water through the network of canals down to the farm level. Starting in a pilot area, the objectives are to modernize the irrigation system and to strengthen the grass-roots level practice of irrigation management. Known as Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM), the concept is to empower farmers to coordinate their activities and to better self-manage the irrigation delivery network at the lower levels.
The scope of work for the consultants is to support the IMC to develop a GIS-based data storage system for asset management which allows them to develop an organized inventory of irrigation assets (pumps, pipelines, canal, dams, etc) and then from that, develop a structured mechanism for maintenance planning. This systematic approach allows for improved annual budget and resource allocation to ensure that the limited funds are used most effectively for system maintenance. As well as support for data collection, support will be provided for training and capacity development in the IMC to maintain and apply their new system.
With regard to PIM, the consultants will work to strengthen previous PIM activities in the province. Working at the grass-roots level, the consultants will select pilot locations to either strengthen existing water user organizations (WUOs) or to establish new ones from scratch. The WUOs are formed from collectives of farmers and provide a more structured approach to collecting fees, assigning tasks, and funding small scale activities to ensure adequate maintenance of the irrigation network at the local level. This will lead to a more equitable and efficient use of water resources and a sustainable system for greater productivity.
Together with the implementation of other activities, these two packages contribute to the overall support for improving integrated water resource management in Ninh Thuan province. Continued development of its regulatory system, policies and improvements in capacity contributes to equitable and sustainable resource management, which, with the increasing threat of climate change, is a critical issue for Ninh Thuan province./.