Hydrology: focus on water quantity

Laos builds a dam in the lower Mekong river

Wilbert van Vliet
Started by Wilbert van Vliet on
06 Nov 2012 at 05:13
GIS programmer, Royal HaskoningDHV
Know-how: Groundwater Modeling, Water Efficiency, Irrigation

Laos decided yesterday to continue building the Xayaburi dam in the lower Mekong river, despite protests of the neighbouring countries Vietnam and Cambodja. This will be the first ever dam build in the lower part; the upper part of the river contains dams of China. The dam will become an estimated 800 meter long and will cost as much as 3.5 billion USD

Laos' main aim is to produce electricity from water power for Thailand, This is quite remarkable, not for its own citizens but for Thailand. Laos is one of the world's poorest countries and by exporting this electricity to Thailand it hopes to gain alot of money of this project.

The decision was taken despite (expected) bad effects on for example fishing grounds, agricultural areas and it can maybe even lead to conflicts between the neighbouring countries. Laos carried out a research to get more insight in the effects of a possible dam, but did not complete it.

Does anyone know more about this situation. What are other effects of this project on hydrology and ecology? Is it really the best place to build a dam? And what do you expect for the future with possible conflicts?


robert verger

i agree with them, not a good idea at all and highly controversial. Laotian government has too many dollar signs in their eyes.
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