WISDOM - Water-related Information System for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta WISDOM

The Mekong Delta in Vietnam , one of the largest estuaries in the world, plays a major role in the economy of the country. It is one of the largest rice production areas in the world and its yields contribute largely to the gross national product of Vietnam . However, the Delta is also a sensible agro-ecosystem that faces a number of challenges. The main current environmental issues in the Delta are closely linked to water availability and usage, which is dominated by the annual rhythm of flooding and low flows, the associated hazards of flood damages and saline intrusions, but also anthropogenic pollution. National and regional authorities face a difficult challenge to ensure the sustainable availability of the rich resources of the Delta. To support the decision making process, information on the complex ecologic and hydrologic relationships, impacts of social and cultural circumstances and effects of regulative measures in upstream riparian countries are highly needed. To obtain this information, efficient collection, management, analysis and distribution of existing and newly generated data as well as the enhancement of the current information flow is of great importance and is the core idea of WISDOM .  

Besides the informational tasks, WISDOM strives to find answers to a number of open scientific questions, both in the fields of natural as well social sciences. The section Engineering Hydrology of the GFZ is coordinating the Work Package 4000 encompassing all works related to Hydrology and Hydraulics in the project. It also leads two sub-projects within the Work Package. The main research topics are:  

  • The hydrology of the whole Mekong basin, occurrence of floods and droughts, and the detection of major influencing factors like large scale meteorological phenomena and anthropogenic impacts.
  • The hydraulics of the whole Mekong Delta as well as detailed hydraulic studies in a study site located in the area of deepest flooding. The focus is on the monitoring of the inundation dynamics and sediment transport in the flood plains, and the use of these data in combination with remote sensing for sophisticated 2D-hydraulic model calibration.

WISDOM is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research BMBF. The first phase of WISDOM started in summer 2007 and will be terminated in mid-2010.

Project partners in Germany : DLR-DFD, UNU-EHS, University of Bonn (INRES), ZEF, University of Karlsruhe , EOMAP, DHI Germany , 2wcom

Project Partners in Vietnam : SIWRR, Sub-NIAPP, SRHMC, DITAGIS, University of Can Tho, GIRS-VAST, SISS

Selected publications :

Apel, H., Hung, N.N., Long, T.T., Tri, V.K., 2012. Flood Hydraulics and Suspended Sediment Transport in the Plain of Reeds, Mekong Delta. In: Renaud, F.G., Kuenzer, C. (Eds.), The Mekong Delta System. Springer Environmental Science and Engineering. Springer Netherlands, pp. 221-232. DOI:10.1007/978-94-007-3962-8_8

Delgado, J.M., Merz, B., Apel, H., 2012. A climate-flood link for the lower Mekong River. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 16(5): 1533-1541. DOI:10.5194/hess-16-1533-2012

Delgado, J.M., Merz, B., Apel, H., 2014. Projecting flood hazard under climate change: an alternative approach to model chains. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14(6): 1579-1589. DOI:10.5194/nhess-14-1579-2014

Dung, N.V., Merz, B., Bárdossy, A., Apel, H., 2015. Handling uncertainty in bivariate quantile estimation – An application to flood hazard analysis in the Mekong Delta. Journal of Hydrology, 527(0): 704-717. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.05.033

Dung, N.V., Merz, B., Bárdossy, A., Thang, T.D., Apel, H., 2011. Multi-objective automatic calibration of hydrodynamic models utilizing inundation maps and gauge data. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15(4): 1339-1354. DOI:10.5194/hess-15-1339-2011

Hung, N.N. et al., 2014. Sedimentation in the floodplains of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam Part II: deposition and erosion. Hydrological Processes, 28(7): 3145-3160. DOI:10.1002/hyp.9855

Hung, N.N. et al., 2014. Sedimentation in the floodplains of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Part I: suspended sediment dynamics. Hydrological Processes, 28(7): 3132-3144. DOI:10.1002/hyp.9856


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