22 Mar 2013
Ho Chi Minh City. Copyright Erik Klaassen
Dutch consultancy and engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV and knowledge institute Deltares have revealed details of the Flood and Inundation Management Project for Ho Chi Minh City. The concept is that the city itself will be protected by dikes but controlled flooding will be permitted in outlying areas. In the first instance, a small ring-dike will be constructed around the city centre to provide adequate flood defences until 2025. It will then be possible to extend and raise this barrier if sea levels continue to rise. The project has a total contract value of 1.5 million euros, which is to be co-funded by the Netherlands and Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City, has a population of 8 million inhabitants and is situated between the tidal area of three major rivers with numerous creeks and canals. Sixty per cent of the city is in low-lying areas. Local authorities originally proposed building a 172-kilometre ring-dike with twelve flood gates. Although the Dutch companies' alternative plan is considerably less expensive, it also provides an adequate response to the heavy rainfall in the region. As Frits Dirks, project manager for Royal HaskoningDHV, explains: "The city has to contend with rising sea levels, soil compaction and subsidence of two to three centimetres a year. There is also particularly heavy rainfall. At certain times, water must be allowed to flow off into flood basins, which means that certain spatial interventions are required. Based on various flood scenarios, we have helped the local authority to determine where the water catchment areas should be located. Our strategy is therefore one of 'multilayered' protection, as applied in the Netherlands under the national 'Room for the River' Programme."