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  • Diverting the Mekong River into Thailand: The Khong-Loei-Chi-Mun project

    06/07/2016

    Extensive irrigated agriculture in Northeast Thailand has long been a dream of the Royal Irrigation Department (RID). Over the decades, various visions have been expounded but never fulfilled, including the Green Isan Project in the early 1980s, the Khong-Chi-Mun Project in the late 1980s and 1990s, and the Water Grid Project in the early 2000s. Local communities and civil society have often challenged these projects, questioning the project’s economics and potential environmental and social impacts.

    Recently, the RID has reinvigorated its irrigation plans through the “Mekong-Loei-Chi-Mun River Management and Diversion by Gravity in the Northeast” project. It entails diverting water from the Mekong River’s mainstream into the Loei River in Northeastern Thailand, which would then be connected via tunnels to the Chi and Mun Rivers.

  • Why the Mekong River is Asia’s next big investment locale

    06/04/2016

    Japan recently announced a three-year, $7 billion investment deal to improve the infrastructure of the lower Mekong River region. This deal is a move to offset China’s growing economic influence within the region. Furthermore, because of geopolitical reasons, it will be beneficial to Japanese investors who may be dissuaded from other regions, such as Russia.

  • A Thirsty Mekong Delta

    06/04/2016

    Located at the end of the Mekong River basin, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam is currently experiencing the most severe drought and salinity intrusion in 100 years.

    According to experts, the principal reason is development activities in GMS countries related to the use of the Mekong River’s water resources, including the operation and construction of mega-dams along the river as well as water diversion for agricultural purposes.

  • Mekong dam a threat to rare dolphins – and villagers too

    05/31/2016

    THE DON SAHONG hydroelectric dam threatens the last 80 Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River – as well as the livelihoods of the people downstream in Cambodia, who depend heavily on the river’s resources.

    The people in Preah Romkel village of Stung Treng province claim their way of life is in danger. The eco-tourism that boosts the local economy will be destroyed if the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins are driven into extinction by the impact of the new Don Sahong Dam on the Laos-Cambodian border.

  • Plan continues for waterway transport system and hydropower on Red River

    05/23/2016

    Vietnam’s Ministry of Investment and Planning (MPI) received the requirement for approval the investment project of Xuan Thanh group (Xuan Thien Co Ltd) about the construction the waterway transport system and hydropower on Red River, the North of Vietnam. MPI has informed the Prime Minister and consulted with MONRE about this project as MPI thinks that this project will have potential impacts to environment by dredging the riverbed or process of hydropower construction. But in order to understanding how specific the impacts, its need to conducting the EIA report.

    The Prime Minister has not yet approved this project as its still lack many information and legal documents. Prime Minster assigned MONRE to establish the exploitation master plan of Red River to ensure the sustainable development.

  • Mekong River in danger, but MRC is ‘weak’

    05/23/2016

    Dams and water diversion projects along the Mekong River threaten to overwhelm an ecosystem that supports 60 million people and thousands of species, according to a consensus of scientists, NGOs and governments. But amidst this pending crisis, the main mechanism set up to protect the river is becoming all but irrelevant.

    The Mekong now needs more protection than ever, experts say, but the Mekong River Commission (MRC) – an international body that manages Mekong development and water resource use – has been steadily losing power for years, say current and former employees who spoke on condition of anonymity.

  • Drought: Hydropower’s Achilles Heel

    05/19/2016

    Drought: The news has been full of it.

    Fish are disappearing from markets from Zimbabwe to Vietnam because of it. Kenyan barristas are making “camelcinos” because drought has made cow milk scarce. And in India, men from some villages are even finding it hard to get wives because the water shortage makes them look like a bad bet.

    Across Asia, Africa and Latin America, the rains are not falling – they’re failing.

    But drought is no longer just a concern for farmers; it’s increasingly becoming a major humanitarian and political issue, particularly in hydropower-dependent countries.

  • Mekong Eye News Digest: 18 May 2016

    05/19/2016

    A weekly update of news, commentary and resources on Mekong development projects, investment, EIAs and other development issues. We include a balanced and representative range of news and views from local, regional and global sources. The Digest reaches around 3500 key development professionals, government officials, business leaders and journalists.

  • CK gets B19bn environmental contract for Xayaburi dam

    05/18/2016

    SET-listed Thai construction firm Ch. Karnchang Plc (CK) has secured an additional 19-billion-baht construction contract to optimise the environmental performance of the Xayaburi hydroelectric power plant in Laos.

    Company president Supamas Trivisvavet said the additional construction aimed to fulfill requests by the Mekong River Commission to create an earthquake-resistant structure, navigation log, fish passageway and sediment flushing system.

  • Harnessing Sesan River: Cambodia and its goal for electricity self-sufficiency

    05/18/2016

    For the past ten years, Cambodia’s economy has been growing by an average of 7 percent and the government has set the sight to upgrade the country to the status of middle-income country in 2030 by promoting investments especially garment industry and service sector. And this has spurred the increasing need of electricity.

    According to the Electricity Authority of Cambodia, Cambodia bought 40-50 percent of its energy need from neighbouring countries. The Southeast Asia Energy Outlookj 2015 report which was undertaken by the International Energy Agency predicted that energy need of the region would increase to three times of the current need in year 2040 and coal was designated by IEA as the main source of fuel for electricity generating.

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