Inderscience Publishers

Water management decentralisation in the Red River Delta, Vietnam: an uncompleted transition process towards local governance

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This paper presents an analysis of the Red River Delta (RRD) water control system. In order to get a better understanding of the current situation, the paper starts with a description of the changes to the technical and organisational framework of the RRD over the last 30 years. The results of the investigation conducted at the level of a primary hydraulic unit are presented, information on local dynamics are provided and the participation of each concerned actor, from central to local level, is detailed. A comparison with the general findings from a broad range of studies shows that there is not such a big difference between current and design pumping capacity as was generally thought. Management state agencies decreased their irrigation capacity but the gap was filled by the development of local pumping stations, managed by localities. It seems that rather than a question of the age of the pumping stations and the lack of investment devoted to hydraulics, management difficulties are due to inappropriate recognition and an unequal capacity for negotiation of each involved actor.

Keywords: decentralisation, irrigation management transfer, Red River Delta, Vietnam, water management

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