Community-Scale Wind-Powered Desalination for Selected Coastal Mekong Provinces in Vietnam
Advances in Global Change Research
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Global climate destabilization is exacerbating water problems in Vietnam, most acutely in the South and Central regions where the majority of the inhabited area lies in the low elevation coastal zone. Off-grid community-scale reverse osmosis desalination powered by small wind turbines offers a solution to this problem for the coastal fringe of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Using a geographical information system (GIS) platform, a wind resources atlas developed by the Asia Sustainable and Alternative Energy, and projected rural population available from Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network, this chapter explores this potential. The GIS analysis estimated that in the absence of all other water supply facilities, off-grid wind desalination could provide clean water to 5.4 million rural residents living in 18,900 km2 of the Mekong Delta coastal provinces at the rate of 60 l/person/day. In addition to providing clean water, the use of wind-powered desalination in the region would have educational benefits to combat poverty and unemployment and ease water-related conflicts, and it has been shown to improve environmental and agricultural sustainability. Thus this technology was found to represent a decentralized and community-based method to adapt to and mitigate climate change in the coastal fringe of the Mekong Delta.