Nearly the entire Mekong Delta in Vietnam — an area that helps feed about 200 million people — will sink underwater by the year 2100 at current rates, a new study predicts.
The delta, which is home to almost 18 million people and produces half of Vietnam’s food, faces this potential humanitarian crisis largely because the heavy extraction of groundwater is causing land to sink as sea levels simultaneously rise, the study found.
Researchers at Utrecht University created a delta-wide numerical model to track the impacts of groundwater exploitation over the past 25 years and use that as the basis of future predictions.
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