Enhancing Water Supply Resilience in a Tropical Island via a Socio-Hydrological Approach: A Case Study in Con Dao Island, Vietnam

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Socio-hydrological approaches are gaining momentum due to the importance of understanding
the dynamics and co-evolution of water and human systems. Various socio-hydrological
approaches have been developed to improve the adaptive capacity of local people to deal with
water-related issues. In this study, a social-hydrological approach was developed to enhance the
water supply resilience in Con Dao Island, Vietnam. We used a water-balance model, involving
theWater Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) tool, to conduct a scenario-based evaluation of water
demands. In doing so, we assessed the impacts of socio-economic development, such as population
growth and climate change, on increasing water demand. The modelling results showed that
the existing reservoirs—the main sources to recharge the groundwater (accounting for 56.92% in
2018 and 65.59% in 2030)—play a critical role in enhancing water supply resilience in the island,
particularly during the dry season. In addition, future water shortages can be solved by investment
in water supply infrastructures in combination with the use of alternative water sources, such as
rainwater and desalinated seawater. The findings further indicate that while the local actors have
a high awareness of the role of natural resources, they seem to neglect climate change. To meet
the future water demands, we argue that upgrading and constructing new reservoirs, mobilizing
resources for freshwater alternatives and investing in water supply facilities are among the most
suitable roadmaps for the island. In addition, strengthening adaptive capacity, raising awareness and
building professional capacity for both local people and officials are strongly recommended. The
research concludes with a roadmap that envisages the integration of social capacity to address the
complex interaction and co-evolution of the human–water system to foster water-supply resilience in
the study area.

Duc Cong Hiep
Duc Canh
Luu Thi
Tan Cuong
Hong Quan