Community-Scale Wind-Powered Desalination for Selected Coastal Mekong Provinces in Vietnam

  • Ha T. Nguyen
  • Joshua M. PearceEmail author
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 45)


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.


Renewable energy Desalination GIS Sustainability Mekong Delta 



Asia Sustainable and Alternative Energy Program


Computational Fluid Dynamics


Center for International Earth Science Information Network


Comprehensive Poverty Reduction Growth Strategy


Low Elevation Coastal Zone


European Remote Sensing Synthetic Aperture Radar Precision Image


International Research and Development Council


National Rural Clean Water Sanitation and Supply Strategy


National Renewable Energy Laboratory


Reverse Osmosis


Synthetic Aperture Radar


United Nations Food and Agriculture organization


Universal Transverse Mercator


Vietnam Living Standard Survey


Wind Powered Desalination



The authors would like to thank R. Andrews for helpful discussions and support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Materials EngineeringQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, School of Environmental StudiesQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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