In Mekong Delta, Rice Boom Comes with a Price

Vietnam has become one of the world’s leading rice producers, thanks to the construction of an elaborate network of dikes and irrigation canals. But these extensive infrastructure projects in the storied Mekong Delta have come at a high ecological cost. READ MORE

 

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This 2009 map of Vietnam's portion of the Mekong Delta shows dikes and other embankments built in recent years to control seasonal flooding and promote intensive rice cultivation. The new system has helped Vietnam catapult in a generation from a desperately poor country to the world's second-largest rice exporter. But international and Vietnamese scientists say a substantial network of water-control infrastructure projects has disrupted the Mekong River's ecological balance and contributed to pollution and other environmental problems. (Martijn van de Groep/Southern Institute of Water Resources Planning)

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