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Strengthening Cross-Provincial Coordination and Cooperation on Water Management in the Mekong Delta

On 22 June 2020 in Bac Lieu city, the Provincial People Committee (PPC), Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) of Bac Lieu province in collaboration with GIZ - Mekong Delta Climate Resilience Programme (MCRP) organized the “Kick-off workshop of the Joint Technical Working Group (JTWG) on Water Management in Quan Lo - Phung Hiep sub-region”.
The JTWG consists of representatives from DARDs and Departments of Natural Resources and Environment of Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and Soc Trang provinces, Directorate of Water Resources (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), Southern Institute for Water Resources Planning, Southern Institute for Water Resources Research and GIZ/MCRP. The JTWG is aimed to harmonizing diverse water uses among the three provinces, towards sustainable water management in the sub-region. Mr Vuong Phuong Nam- Vice chairman of Bac Lieu PPC highlighted that “The establishment of such JTWG in Quan Lo - Phung Hiep would play critical role in promoting inter-provincial coordination on water and irrigation system management among Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and Soc Trang provinces in the context of unpredictable climate change challenges, especially more and more severe salinity intrusion. As the central province of the sub-region, Bac Lieu highly appreciates support from GIZ and will proactively coordinate with the two neighboring provinces to maintain and further promote this initiative”.
At this kick-off event, the member provinces reached consensus on the organization and operation of the JTWG, including a Workplan for 2020-2021, with concrete activities and outcomes. The JTWG is alternately chaired by member provinces on bi-annual basis and will have regular meetings to review the progress and address emerging needs and issues.
Participants at the workshop also discussed the strategy for implementing key activities of the JTWG such as developing an integrated geographical information systems (GIS) database for water management in Quan Lo - Phung Hiep sub-region and updating the operational regulations of the Quan Lo - Phung Hiep irrigation system.
Since 2016, GIZ successfully brought An Giang and Kien Giang together within framework of the Joint technical Working Group for Long Xuyen Quadrangle. The effective operation of the JTWG has significantly promoted the inter-provincial coordination and cooperation in water management in the Quadrangle, in which remains upstream and downstream water use challenges. Positive impacts of the JTWG in Long Xuyen Quadrangle incentivize the scaling up of GIZ’s support for inter-provincial coordination platform on water management in other sub-regions in the Mekong Delta.