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From Struggle to Solutions: Understanding the Concerns of People’s Groundwater Usage Habits and Environmental Awareness for Sustainable Water Management in Ca Mau Province

The Mekong Delta, including Ca Mau province in the south, faces severe land subsidence, attributed in part to the excessive groundwater extraction. Addressing this issue requires finding alternative water sources while considering technical, environmental and social challenges. This study aims to understand the significance of groundwater to the people of Ca Mau, their water usage habits and awareness with environmental issues. Supported by local Provincial People's Committees, a comprehensive survey and group interviews were conducted across 9 districts of Ca Mau province. The research aimed to identify the spatial distribution of the required water management solutions and acceptance levels of alternative water resources. Water samples were collected and analyzed to establish the connection between water quality and people's water usage habits. Groundwater plays a vital role in people’s life, serving various purposes such as washing, cooking, drinking, and other activities. Groundwater usage depends on people's perceptions of its quality. For activities requiring higher levels of hygiene, additional water treatment or alternative water sources are preferred. The analytical approach from general viewpoints to details in this study investigates deeper into the story behind their water usage habits. It emphasizes the need to inform people about environmental challenges and raise awareness of cause-effect relationships. Evaluating alternative water resources and designing new water utilization concepts is based on local demands and willingness to change water-related habits. This research sheds light on people's awareness and concern while providing valuable insights for sustainable water management strategies in the Mekong Delta, specifically in Ca Mau province.


Van Cam Pham1, Jonas Bauer1, Felix Dörr1, Hoan Viet Tran1, Stefan Norra2
1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Applied Geosciences;Laboratory for Environmental and Raw Materials Analysis (LERA); 2Potsdam University, Institute of Environmental Sciences and Geography, Soil Sciences and Geoecology
GeoBerlin 2023