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Partnerships for enhanced engagement in research (PEER)
Cycle 4 (2015 Deadline)

Application of geodetic, satellite remote sensing and physical modeling tools for management of operational groundwater resources in the Red River Delta, Vietnam

PI: Nguyen Duc Luong (, Institute of Environmental Science and Engineering , National University of Civil Engineering (NUCE)
U.S. Partner: Faisal Hossain, University of Washington
Project Dates: October 2015 - January 2019

Project Overview

4-189 Poster Presentation
Dr. Luong presents a poster on his PEER project at the VietWater Expo & Forum 2015.

The overall goal of this project is to transfer and build locally-developed applications of advanced technologies, including GRACE satellite gravimetry, satellite altimetry, and hydrologic and hydraulic models to Vietnamese institutions and agencies that manage groundwater resources in the Red River Delta (RRD) of Vietnam. In this project, the Institute of Environmental Science and Engineering (IESE) and the National Center for Water Resources Planning and Investigation (NAWAPI) will partner with the NASA-supported project “NASA WATER—Towards Operational Water Resources Management in South Asia Exploiting Satellite Geodetic and Remote Sensing Technologies (2014-2018),” which is led by Dr. Faisal Hossain at the University of Washington (UW). This three-year project is the first ever study adopting the promisingly integrated approach of geodetic, satellite remote sensing, and physical modeling tools for groundwater assessment in Vietnam. It is expected to provide a totally new spatial and temporal dataset for groundwater monitoring in the RRD, where groundwater is being over-exploited for domestic use and intensively irrigated agriculture activities. These efforts will support NAWAPI and relevant governmental agencies in their decision making activities for sustainable management of groundwater in this region and Vietnam. To achieve its goal, this project will provide technical training for IESE and NAWAPI staff members on independently managing and interpreting data from geodetic and satellite remote sensing, hydrologic, and hydraulic modeling tools for extracting regional and local-scale changes in groundwater storage anomalies for the RRD. This would then facilitate making projections for water resources planning at 30- to 180-day timescales for the RRD. 

This project supports USAID’s aims to strengthen the capacities of local stakeholders to address climate change impacts and build people’s resilience to long-term climate change. The innovative approach adopted in this project could be adapted and applied to similar research in other regions in Vietnam by local stakeholders without long-term dependency on the U.S. partners involved. Importantly, by participating in this project, research capacity and knowledge of project PI and other members with respect to application of geodetic, satellite remote sensing, and physical modeling tools for groundwater management would be significantly enhanced. In addition, the research infrastructure (remote sensing and GIS lab facilities, software, etc.) with the integrated system (geodetic, satellite remote sensing, and physical modeling tools) installed in this infrastructure would be built up at IESE. Along with the new knowledge and skills to be gained by Institute staff, these assets should contribute positively to other future research to be carried out at IESE.

Summary of Recent Activities

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“(L-R) Nguyen Hoang Hiep, Faisal Hossain, and Nguyen Duc Luong during the visit of the Vietnamese researchers to the University of Washington, March-April 2016 (photo courtesy of Dr. Luong).

During the first quarter of 2018, Dr. Luong and his colleagues completed their work on assessing groundwater resources for the Red River Delta using GRACE data. Using their findings, they published a paper entitled “Hydrological model using ground- and satellite-based data for river flow simulation towards supporting water resource management in the Red River Basin, Vietnam” in the Journal of Environmental Management. This is a high-impact journal, helping to ensure that their project results will be widely disseminated to the scientific community not only in Vietnam but also worldwide. Also on the outreach side, the PI and his team participated in the Vietnam Water Cooperation Initiative 2018 organized in Hanoi March 4-8 by their project partner NAWAPI.

In addition to continuing work on some activities on their original PEER project, including drafting papers and honing new courses to be offered at NUCE, the researchers are preparing to conduct advanced intensive training on satellite-based water resource management for key Vietnamese national stakeholder agencies (NAWAPI, the Center for Environmental Monitoring, and the Vietnam National Space Center). This training is made possible by a PEER Evidence to Action Supplement awarded at the end of 2017. On March 26, the PI convened a workshop with stakeholders from key Vietnamese agencies to explain the training opportunities and obtain their input.

U.S. partner Dr. Faisal Hossain and his Master’s student Mr. Nishan Biswas of the University of Washington will also be visiting Hanoi during the first half of July thanks to a PEER Partner Cooperation Supplement. They will provide hands-on troubleshooting for co-developing decisionmaking tools that will be used by Vietnamese water agencies such as NAWAPI and the National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting, as well as NUCE. Along with Dr. Luong, the visitors will also engage with stakeholder agencies to establish clear pathways for the tools to be incubated in the agency environment.

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