One Hundred and Thirty Climate-Resilient Ponds Enhance Water Security for Farmers

August 2, 2023

A pond is being constructed in Dak Lak province

Viet Nam, 2 August 2023 - A total of one hundred and thirty climate-resilient ponds have been built as part of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) funded project, "Strengthening the Resilience of Smallholder Agriculture to Climate Change-induced Water Insecurity in the Central Highlands and South-Central Coast Regions of Viet Nam," to improve water security and safeguard the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the area. By 2026, there will be tentatively 1,159 climate-resilient ponds constructed and operated.

Among them, 110 ponds have been completed and put into operation. And 20 ponds are currently under construction. These ponds are also expected to be completed soon to store water in time for this rainy season. They will soon be operational for households, further strengthening the project's impact on enhancing water accessibility for farmers in 2023.

Each pond is designed to efficiently store rainwater and surface water while providing a sustainable water source to farmers during the local annual dry season, significantly reducing the likelihood of water shortages due to drought and climate change impacts taking place regularly in the project area.

For these climate-resilient ponds, irrigation experts used rainfall modeling to calculate the water balance, considering multiple factors, such as the maximum use of available water resources, geographical conditions, climate risks, and traditional local experiences. This method ensures that ponds are built that can withstand different climate scenarios, assuring water supply and good use in the long term.

In addition, the pond's design has considered innovative features to minimize water loss and avoid sedimentation, promoting sustainable water management practices. For example, biological techniques and nature-based solutions (such as planting suitable vegetation around pond banks, which will increase resilience and cost-effectiveness) are also incorporated with traditional knowledge.

One of the critical aspects of this project is its community-centered approach. Through "pond use management groups," farmers, especially women and ethnic minorities, play a key role, actively supervising construction, operation, and maintenance. By participating in training and capacity-building sessions, these farmer-led groups will ensure the ponds are utilized optimally and promptly address any technical challenges, amplifying the positive impact on the local communities.

Implemented by UNDP and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the People's Committees of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan, the project's innovative approach and collaborative community engagement set a compelling example for benefit-sharing and sustainable water utilization and management practices in the face of climate change and extreme El Nino phenomena. As these ponds continue to support local farmers and strengthen their resilience, they contribute to a more secure and prosperous future in Viet Nam's agricultural heartland.

For more information, please kindly contact:
Phan Huong Giang, 
CCE Media & Communications Analyst, 
United Nations Development Programme
Tel: 0948466688