Climatic Change

, Volume 149, Issue 1, pp 29–41 | Cite as

Coping capacities for improving adaptation pathways for flood protection in Can Tho, Vietnam

  • Mohanasundar RadhakrishnanEmail author
  • Hong Quan Nguyen
  • Berry Gersonius
  • Assela Pathirana
  • Ky Quang Vinh
  • Richard M. Ashley
  • Chris Zevenbergen


The planning and phasing of adaptation responses are essential to tackle uncertainties and ensure positive outcomes while adapting to changing circumstances. Understanding the evolution of coping and adaptation responses and their capacities is a prerequisite for preparing an effective flood management plan for the future. The aim of this paper is to determine the effect of coping capacity on longer term adaptation responses in a flood risk management system. The objectives, requirements, targets, design, and performance of flood protection measures will have to be determined after taking into account, or in conjunction with, the coping capacities. A methodology has been developed and demonstrated based on an adaptation pathway approach to account for coping capacities and to assess the effect of these on flood protection measures. Application of this methodology for flood protection measures in Can Tho City in the Mekong Delta shows the effect of considering coping capacity for flood protection measures and the value in delaying the occurrence of tipping points. Coping measures such as elevating property floor levels can postpone the tipping points when dikes are no longer effective. Consideration of coping capacity in the system improves adaptation responses and leads to better adaptation outcomes.



This technical paper is an outcome of an ongoing research funded by (a) Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRC), an initiative of the Australian government and (b) PRoACC (Post-doctoral Programme on Climate Change Adaptation in the Mekong River Basin) programme by the Netherlands Ministry of Development Cooperation (DGIS) through the UNESCO-IHE Partnership Research Fund. PCSWMM software used for 1D-2D modelling was provided by Computational Hydraulics Education through an educational grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IHE Delft Institute for water educationDelftNetherlands
  2. 2.Cooperative Research Center for Water Sensitive CitiesClaytonAustralia
  3. 3.Center of Water Management and Climate Change (WACC)Vietnam National University - Ho Chi Minh city (VNU - HCM) Ho Chi Minh CityVietnam
  4. 4.Office of Climate Change Can Tho (CCCO)Can Tho CityVietnam

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