Water Journal : Water Journal August 2015
13 Postcard In low-lying parts of town where flooding is more severe, some households have had to resort to raising the floor level to cope with annual inundation (Hardman, 2015). Flooding in such areas also brings increased risks of disease transmission. There are a number of factors contributing to flooding. To start with, the city is just at or above sea level and in many areas flooding occurs as a result of the combined effect from tidal inflow/sea level rise, intense rainfall and runoff, drainage capacity issues and land subsidence (Phi, 2008). Investment in large stormwater infrastructure in the city has tried to reduce the frequency of flooding events and flooded areas (Duc and Truong, 2003), but challenges persist and are expected to increase in severity: climate change projections indicate increasing rainfall intensity (0.8mm/yr) and rising sea levels; and as a growing city of nine million people, heavy urbanisation in Ho Chi Minh City brings its own issues: more construction, more impervious surfaces, heat island effect and increased groundwater exploitation (Phi, 2008). Dealing with such challenges will require more than just technological solutions. It will require multi-pronged and coordinated efforts across government agencies, planners and community; importantly it needs a shift in mindset on stormwater management (less reliance on end-of-pipe solutions alone, more consideration of integrated water management interventions) and greater awareness by the population on how their behaviour impacts their local environment and living conditions. Let’s hope that the pace of environmental awareness may eventually catch up with economic development. REFERENCES Hardman J (2015): Delta Blues Part 1: The Battle To Keep Ho Chi Minh City Above Water, WWNO New Orleans Public Radio, wwno.org/post/delta- blues-part-1 -battle-keep-ho-chi-minh-city-above-water. Ho Long Phi (2008): Impacts of Climate Changes and Urbanisation on Urban Inundation in Ho Chi Minh City, 11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2008, web.sbe.hw.ac .uk/staffprofiles/bdgsa/11th_International_Conference_on_Urban_Drainage_CD/ICUD08/ pdfs/713.pdf. Hiep ND & Truong PT (2003): Water Resources and Environment In and Around Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Electronic Green Journal, 1, 19. Given the high cost of land and property, low-income families often build homes along canals and river banks, which increases their vulnerability to flooding. High density and impermeable surface coverage are key contributors to run-off.
Water Journal June 2015
Water Journal September 2015