The Mekong River Delta, a vital agricultural region that supports approximately 18 million people and contributes to half of Vietnam’s rice production, is increasingly threatened by saltwater intrusion. This ongoing project documents pivotal episodes from 2017, 2020, and the ongoing challenges in 2024, focusing on the severity and evolving patterns of this phenomenon that threatens both the livelihoods and the regional economy.

Historically a seasonal issue, saltwater intrusion is now intensifying each dry season, commencing earlier and with greater severity. This escalation affects not only rice cultivation but also domestic water supplies and the broader agricultural ecosystem, impacting various farming and fishing practices that are crucial to the delta’s economic health.

Recent reports from government and local news sources underscore the urgent nature of these changes. The intrusion results from a mix of climate-induced sea level rise and extensive upstream dam constructions that disrupt natural water flows into the delta. These factors present intricate challenges to the resilience and adaptability of the region and its communities.

As these challenges intensify, the project vividly captures the adaptive responses of local communities to these climate disruptions. It provides an analytical perspective on the impacts of the climate crisis, showing how the delta’s inhabitants adjust their lifestyles and economic activities to cope with their rapidly changing environment, thus emphasizing the human dimension of climate resilience.

Hot Rock, Salty Water 2017 – 2024