A shared river basin of Quang Nam province and Da Nang city, the Vu Gia – Thu Bon river basin faces a range of management issues dealing with the allocation of water across various time frames, during both flood season and dry season. These questions require an assessment of trade-offs between different uses (e.g. hydro reservoir and generation, crop irrigation, drinking water supplies and water quality downstream) and between different flow management and water diversion options.
In this context, Da Nang and Quang Nam provinces agreed to establish an experimental collaborative River Basin Organization (RBO), with a mandate for data collection, modeling and information sharing but no authority to take independent action. While other basin-level organizations and plans have been created in Vietnam, they have met only infrequently (e.g. annually) and have been relatively ineffective. The new RBO was established by formal agreement between the two provinces in August 2017. This brief is based on a project that supported the nascent RBO through the development and piloting of a platform for cross-border river management in the Vu Gia – Thu Bon river basin. The brief explores the problems that Da Nang and Quang Nam provinces faced in terms of river management, tools that supported the RBO platform and results from the intervention. The brief also evaluates the provinces' policy issues, as well as issues on a national scale.