Flooding in Mekong River Delta, Viet Nam

2007/2008 Occasional Paper
By Nguyen, Huu Ninh

The Mekong River Delta is one of the most important two rice granaries of the country, alongside Red River Delta in the North. With an area of approximately 40,000 square kilometres, the Mekong delta is a low-level plain not more than three metres above sea level and criss-crossed by a complex system of canals and rivers. Sediment is carried by the Mekong's various branches and tributaries that the delta advances sixty to eighty metres into the sea annually. It is estimated that the amount of sediment deposited annually to be about 1 billion cubic metres, or nearly 13 times the amount deposited by the Red River in the North of the country. About 10,000 square kilometres of the delta are under rice cultivation, making the area one of the major rice-growing regions of the world. The southern tip, known as the Ca Mau Peninsula, is covered by dense jungle and mangrove swamps.