A group of scientists from Dutch Utrecht University discovered recently that the Mekong Delta has an “extremely low mean elevation” of around 0.8 meters above sea level. That is dramatically lower than the 2.6 meters assumed earlier from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Missions data.
At a conference held by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in June experts said one of the biggest problems the delta faced was saltwater intrusion. This has been blamed on upstream hydropower projects in the Mekong River, which flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia before draining in the sea in Vietnam. The upstream dams retain mud and sand and along with that alluvium, a report by the environment ministry said.