Restored Flooding for Living Deltas

Vietnam – controlled seasonal flooding


The Mekong delta is to a large extent located in Vietnam. Flood water flows down from the Mekong river basin and drains into the Gulf of Thailand and into the South China or East Sea via a number of distributaries. The Mekong’s Sino-Vietnamese name, Cuu Long, translates as ‘nine dragons’, referring to the Mekong’s nine historical branches conveying its water. A ‘tenth dragon’, however, can also be identified and consists of sediment-laden flood water overflowing embankments during flood season. While in large parts of the delta this dynamic is prevented or reduced due to embankment construction, policy plans stress the relevance of and push to restore this form of controlled flooding in the upper regions of the delta.

Highlights/key insights

Updated soon!

Click here to view the powerpoint slides as presented during the symposium

Additional information

Martijn F. van Staveren, Jan P. M. van Tatenhove & Jeroen F. Warner (2018) The tenth dragon: controlled seasonal flooding in long-term policy plans for the Vietnamese Mekong delta. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 20:3, 267-281,

Kien Van Nguyen, Helen James (2013) Measuring household resilience to floods: a case study in the Vietnamese Mekong River Delta. Ecology and Society,