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Efarri imrr.jpg
The IMRR project won the European Foundations Award for Responsible Research and Innovation (EFARRI).
The EFARRI award aims to identify research groups that have successfully incorporated methods to align research with the needs of society and contributed towards the development of a smart, inclusive and sustainable society.
The EFARRI call was launched on September 14th 2015. In total 214 projects were submitted before December 8th 2015. Between December 2015 and March 2016 four pre-selection rounds took place to reduce the amount of applications from 214 to 15. Eventually the IMRR project was chosen as one of them and on November 21st was announced as one of the three winners of the EFARRI award.


The Son La dam

The IMRR project aims at developing and promoting strategies for the sustainable management of the Red-Thai Binh Rivers System in Vietnam through coordinated decision-making and negotiation, supported by modelling and optimization tools and through capacity building of local authorities in the water sector.

The Project is funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affair as part of its development cooperation program.


The Red-Thai Binh Rivers basin is the largest of Viet Nam. Despite the construction of several large-scale reservoirs (Hoa Binh, Thac Ba, Tuyen Quang and Son La), lack of coordination and inefficient operation of the reservoirs have resulted in frequent water shortages causing loss of agricultural production, interruptions to navigation, increased pollution and environmental degradation. Conflicts among water uses in the basin, including hydropower production, flood control and water supply, and negative impacts on long-term sustainability (e.g. hydrological alteration, river aggradation and salt intrusion) are expected to increase under the combined pressure of increasing water and energy demand, and climate change.


The goal of the IMRR project is to improve water management practice in the Red-Thai Binh Rivers system with the purpose of meeting Vietnamese society's long-term needs for water resources while maintaining essential ecological services and improving the economic benefits from hydropower production and agriculture.

Specifically, the project goals are:

  • to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and environmental sustainability of water management in the basin through advanced modelling tools and supporting stakeholders dialogue, coordination and negotiations;
  • to enhance capacity in water governance by favoring experience-sharing and the transfer of expertise, methodologies and tools to Viet Nam.


The plurality of interests and the complexity of the system requires the integrated and participatory approach presented in the two books "Integrated and Participatory Water Resources Management: Theory and Practice" by Soncini-Sessa et al.

Participation supports the identification of indicators, objectives, scenarios and models that express the management goals, the events that may occur and the system components. Both hydro-climatic and socio-economic scenarios (i.e. water demand) are considered over different future time horizons, including extreme floods and droughts.

Then, multiple Pareto optimal operating policies corresponding to different trade-offs among the management objectives are generated.

Finally, negotiation rounds between experts, appointed by the institutional Stakeholders, will identify the more interesting policies (Good Compromise Policies, GCPs) among which the Final Political Authority will chose the one to be implemented (Best Compromise Policy, BCP). Three main Sectors (i.e. group of interests) are considered: Flood control, Hydropower generation, Water supply, (for irrigation, aquaculture, industrial and domestic use). They are juxtaposed by two others: Environment and Navigation in the main Delta streams.

Particular attention has to be paid to the need of protecting Ha Noi from very long (500 years) return period floods with a highly disruptive potential. Dually, the water supply has to be satisfied also in extreme drought events (100 years return-period).

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The project started in Feb-2012, and ended with the final Basin Meeting on Nov-2015 and a Residential School in Feb-2016.

The results are synthesized in the Executive Summary, and extensively presented in 8 Reports and 75 Papers on journals and conferences, of which 25 concern the project results themselves and 50 the methodological tools developed within the project or in its setting up.

A main outcome of the IMRR Project is the Red River geoportal. Access is restricted to stakeholders and institutions involved in the project and the official version is installed on the intranet of IWRP. For an educational and demonstrative version, please login here with demo/rrDemo as user and password.