Many countries in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar have imminent water problems as its water supply is increasingly threatened by the rising water demand due to a rapid population growth and the increasing industrial production with water-intensive processes in urban areas and by climate change: Vietnam has been identified by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as one of the countries that is most affected by climate change. This includes in particular the rising sea levels and an increase in extreme weather conditions (tidal waves), which lead to an increased salinization of groundwater and surface water. By 2050 the sea level shall rise even more, which will further worsen the salinization of coastal groundwater particularly during the dry season.
Furthermore, the groundwater in Vietnam shows high arsenic concentrations. Arsenic is a highly poisonous substance, which is washed out of sedimentary rocks and has a strong negative influence on the health of the population and the social-economic development of the country itself.
The conditions in Vietnam can be considered being representative for many countries, particularly in Southeast Asia. For this reason, Vietnam has been selected as a demonstration region for innovative water desalination and sustainable arsenic removal processes.