Mekong at the Crossroads: Alternative Paths of Water Development and Impact Assessment

TitleMekong at the Crossroads: Alternative Paths of Water Development and Impact Assessment
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsKeskinen, Kummu, Käkönen, Varis
Secondary AuthorsÖjendal, Hansson, Hellberg
Secondary TitlePolitics and Development in a Transboundary Watershed: The Case of the Lower Mekong Basin
Place PublishedDordrecht, Heidelberg, London, New York
Key themesEcology and Livelihoods, Hydropower, Impact Assessment, Transboundary Governance

The Mekong Region in Southeast Asia is undergoing rapid transitions socially, economically, and environmentally. Water is related to these changes in a very profound manner, and the Mekong River and its tributaries are seeing increasing number of plans for water development, most notably in the form of large-scale hydropower. The impacts of this development vary among regional, national, and local levels and across different timescales, influencing societies, politics, and the environment in a variety of ways. While different impact assessment and water management frameworks – including Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) – have been used by actors at different levels in the basin, they have not been too successful in analyzing and communicating the various development paths and their differing impacts in all their complexity. This chapter (ch6) discusses the water development pathways in the Mekong Basin, including their potential impacts and the different possibilities to assess them, as of early 2010. It is concluded that the water development and related management practices in the Mekong are at the crossroads methodologically and, even more importantly, politically.


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Cambodia, Regional

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