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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 - September 2018

Project Overview

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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 third quarter of 2017, Dr. Luong and his group continued their work on analyzing GRACE gravimetry data from NASA and using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrological model output to assess ground water resources for the Red River Delta. The team remained in contact with their U.S. partner and his group at the University of Washington to consult on these ongoing research activities. They have recently prepared and submitted a manuscript on their work to an international journal and are preparing a summary of their PEER project findings for submission to the Vietnam Water Cooperation Initiative (VACI) 2018, which will be held March 4-8, 2018, in Hanoi. A book compiled by their PEER project partners at the National Center for Water Resources Planning and Investigation (NAWAPI), Vietnam Water Cooperation Highlights, will serve as one of the key publications as VACI 2018. It summarizes and highlights key water cooperation efforts, experiences, and lessons learned in order to further promote water cooperation towards sustainable water management in Vietnam and the region.

On September 15, 2017, the PI and his team participated in the workshop on applications of satellite remote sensing for health studies organized by the Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC) and exchanged knowledge on satellite tools (including GRACE and satellite altimetry) used in our PEER project. They also held discussions with the other participants, especially the VNSC and Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health, on the potential for using satellite remote sensing tools that they have mastered through their PEER project for studying water-borne diseases. The potential for future collaborations with these agencies was also discussed.

In the coming months, Dr. Luong and his group will continue implementing their major project activities, including continuing and completing an assessment of ground water resources for the Red River Delta; preparing project publications (peer-reviewed papers, technical papers, etc.); and continuing project dissemination activities (participation in relevant international/domestic conferences, workshops, forums, and meetings). They will continue collaborating closely with their key project partners at NAWAPI and in the United States on relevant project activities and will further promote outreach and potential development impacts activities, including collaborations, connections, or activities developed with other government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and universities or research institutions.

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