KaWaTech Solutions – Technical Solutions for Water Supply in Karst Regions

Technical Solutions for Water Supply in Karst Regions

Figure 2: Ma Le River

In the BMBF-funded R&D project "KaWaTech solutions - Technical solutions for karst water supply", U+Ö im Bauwesen (U+Ö) is developing a practical, mobile technical information system for analysing a drinking water catchment area in Dong Van, Ha Giang Province, in northern Vietnam. The project is carried out in cooperation with several German and Vietnamese scientific and industrial partners and is coordinated by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Water and Watercourse Development (KIT-IWG).

U+Ö contributes to work package 4: "Water protection measures" in cooperation with DISY Informationssysteme GmbH (DISY) and KIT, Institute for Applied Geosciences (KIT-AGW). Further cooperation partners within the project are KIT, Institute for Solid Construction and Building Materials Technology (KIT-IMB), KSB AG (KSB), Markus Klotz GmbH (KLOTZ), DVGW Technology Centre for Water (TZW), Hydro-Elektrik GmbH (Hydro-Elektrik) and the Catholic Foreigners Service (KAAD), as well as the Vietnamese Institute for Geosciences and Mineral Resources (VIGMR), Hanoi Water Resources University (TLU), Ha Giang Province (PPC) and Dong Van District (PC DV) with specialised authorities, and Electricity Vietnam (EVN).

The overarching goals of all R&D activities of the joint project KaWaTech Solutions are the sustainable protection of the highly volatile karst water resources of the model Dong Van region and the establishment of a water supply for the local population with sufficient quantity and quality. In work package 4, GIS-based methods and a practical, mobile technical information system (FIS TW) for analysing the drinking water catchment area of the KaWaTech water supply will be developed. In the course of this, the GIS-based mapping and assessment of pollutant sources, the vulnerability of water resources and the determination of the contamination risk in relation to water abstraction, will be carried out. These GIS-based methods are automated and made available in the FIS-TW. Suitable water protection measures can be derived from the results.

Hmong Kinder

Figure 3: H'Mong children in the Seo Ho valley

The KaWaTech water supply intake is located in the upper reaches of the Seo Ho River, which is connected underground to the Ma Le River. Seo Ho and Ma Le are located in the northern Vietnamese Dong Van district (Ha Giang province) just a few kilometres from the Chinese border and about 400 kilometres north of the capital Hanoi. The area is part of the Dong Van Karst Plateau, which was declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in September 2010. The highly dissected topography is characterised by karst hills with deep valleys and gorges. Annual rainfall is concentrated in three to four months in summer. Due to the high infiltration rates of the karst, there is comparatively little permanent surface runoff. Exceptions are areas with different rock characteristics, such as siltstone, claystone or sandstone. The population of the region is predominantly made up of members of ethnic minorities who live in spatially dispersed and individual settlements and are mainly engaged in maize and rice cultivation as well as livestock farming. The region is considered one of the poorest in Vietnam.

The following members of the Chair are working on the project: Dipl.-Geogr. Björn Zindler (project management and editing).