Negotiating Water Institutions in the Đồng-Nai River Basin, Vietnam: Unstable Balance Between Conservatism and Innovation

  • Huynh Thi Phuong LinhEmail author
  • Olivier Tessier
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 64)


In a context of increasing struggles over access to water and environmental challenges, this chapter analyzes institutional efforts to support integrated water resources management in the framework of the Phước-Hòa Water Resources project (funded by Asian Development Bank [ADB] and Agence Française de Dévelopment [AFD] in 2006–2018) that concurrently aimed to increase the Dầu-Tiếng Reservoir’s capacity and water infrastructure. The chapter investigates the institutional development process for management of the Dầu-Tiếng water resources system in a context of multiple uses and increasing environmental challenges to water quality and quantity, especially under the current obvious and severe effect of salinity intrusion. The chapter then sheds light on local dynamics surrounding the efforts to apply participatory irrigation management (PIM) and to increase agricultural productivity in Tân-Biên irrigated areas developed under the Phước-Hòa project. Through the case of the Phước-Hòa project, the chapter emphasizes the difficulty of defining the right unit for action in a context of shifting environmental and social conditions and the need to allow more flexibility and time in building water institutions. This chapter also seeks to contribute an empirical case study to the large and increasingly important literature on water governance in Southeast Asia and other developing areas. The chapter builds on the results of a multidisciplinary research project on local water governance in the Đồng-Nai basin. The research project’s results, while contributing to the pool of scientific knowledge, will help the AFD reflect on the factors driving and limiting the legacy of the development project.


Local water governance Multiple-used water system Institutional process Agricultural development Participatory Irrigation Management Dong Nai river basin 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecole Française d’Extrême-OrientHồ-Chí-Minh CityVietnam

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